In first test, ‘e-ballot’ voting in Punjab, Goa

New Delhi: The newly-introduced system of sending postal ballots to service voters, including armed forces personnel, by electronic means will face its first major test in Goa and Punjab where it will be put to use in a total of 45 seats.

All the 40 seats in Goa will be covered by ETPBS (Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System). In Punjab, it will be used only in five out of 117 seats. The new system, which came into force in October when election rules were amended, was used for the first time as a pilot project in Nellithope Assembly bypoll in Puducherry last year. Accepting a long-pending demand, government has amended electoral rules to allow service voters, including Armed Forces personnel, to get their postal ballot through electronic means to save valuable time.

This would mean that service voters, including personnel from armed forces, can now download the blank post ballot sent to them electronically, mark their preference and post the filled-up ballot back to their respective returning officers.

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