Chennai,  Lounge

Great experience of postal ballot for the elderly

Want to share the great experience my mom (81-years old) had while casting her vote now at home for the upcoming Tamil Nadu Assembly Elections 2021.

A team of five plus one comprising of a Returning Officer (A high-school headmistress I was informed), an Assistant Officer, a Lady Assistant, a Lady Police Constable, and a photographer (who was filming throughout) came in a vehicle to our house; they were accompanied by our area’s regular electoral staff. Throughout their stay of fewer than ten minutes, they were all courteous to a fault. Kudos to them and a big thanks for their service in upholding India’s democracy.

They brought with them, the necessary papers in an envelope with my mom’s name (seen in the picture), a metal safe box (ட்ரங்க் பேட்டி), a grey coloured plastic privacy guard (like a three-sided police riot shield), and a camera.

After verifying my mom’s voter ID, while the AO explained the process they will be following, the other two laid out the remote booth on a table in the house with the opening to the back of a wall. Then the AO got the signature(s) from my mom, verified and they were attested by the RO. After which the RO removed the pink voting slip, moved to the enclosure along with my mom and explained to her how to read the details and to mark (X) her choice, then the RO moved away. Once in private my mom cast her vote, she was then asked to fold it, which was promptly put in another envelope along with the signed papers – the RO sealed the envelope and my mom dropped it in the safe box. All this was recorded in the camera.

My mom later said to me the voting slip had the candidate’s name, party symbol and a photograph (!) of the candidate for all standing in the constituency.

In my impression, the whole process seems to be well-thought and designed. It was seamless and super easy for the elderly. Amazing they can do this at a scale needed for a large state like Tamil Nadu with lakhs of elderly.

#TamilNaduElections2021 #tamilnaduassemblyelection2021 #PostalBallot #ElectionCommissionOfIndia

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