Defence officials at poll panel event, get e-ballot doubts cleared

Defence officials at poll panel event, get e-ballot doubts cleared

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said on Tuesday that the poll panel had introduced e-ballots for voters of the defence sectors to ensure that these votes were not wasted.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the release of the e-ballots. Earlier, due to postal delays, service voters never got the ballot papers. 

A total of 28,622 service voters from the state, of which 27,988 are males and 634 are females, are serving in the defence sector. District-wise, the highest number of service voters are from Belagavi (14,302), followed by Hassan (1,502), Vijayapura (1,293) and Kodagu (997). The number of service voters has dropped from 36,726 in 2013.

Many defence officials were present on the occasion to get their doubts cleared from the Election Commission officials. A 12-minute movie explaining how service vote should be cast was also screened. K C Nanda Cariappa, retired air marshal and grandson of Field Marshal Kodandera Madappa Cariappa, appealed to the defence personnel to exercise their franchise without fail.

Explaining the process, Surya Sen A V, joint electoral officer, said e-ballots were already sent to the defence personnel, on April 28. Now, they have time till 8 am on May 15, to send their votes to the returning officers of their respective constituencies.

Bengaluru has the highest number of critical polling stations in the state, at 1,595 booths. Belagavi ranks second with 891, followed by Mysuru 632, Kumar said.

For the first time, the Election Commission has set up polling stations manned by disabled persons - eight in Mandya, one in Bidar and one in Tumakuru.

Kumar said, to ensure safe and fair elections, a total of five lakh security personnel are being deployed, including police, military, paramilitary and others. A total of 585 companies are being deployed, of which 575 have already arrived. In the 2013 elections, 535 companies of security personnel was used.

The Election Commission and security teams have identified 1,461 vulnerable habitats and 4,681 intimidators. Preventive action has been taken against 3,152 people. They have also identified 111 sensitive places and 61 expenditure-sensitive booths.