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EC's home voting facility for elders, PwDs kicks off for Delhi Lok Sabha polls

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) The home voting facility for the elderly voters and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) in all seven parliamentary constituencies of Delhi kicked off on Thursday.

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The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Delhi has started the facility that will continue till May 24, marking the first time such a facility has been made available in Lok Sabha elections, said a statement from the poll body.

The home voting facility is available to voters above 85 years of age and PwDs, offering them the option to cast their votes from their homes, it said.

Veteran BJP leader V K Malhotra was among those who used the facility to exercise their franchise.

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Delhi CEO P Krishnamurthy said their goal is to make the electoral process accessible to all and to encourage greater participation.

"By providing the home voting facility to senior citizens and PwDs, we express our care and respect towards them," he added.

In Delhi, 5,472 voters who are either above 85 years of age or are Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) have filled out Form 12D, enabling them to avail of the home voting facility in the 2024 elections. If they choose to vote at the polling booth instead, 8,000 volunteers and 4,000 wheelchairs have been stationed at the polling locations to further facilitate their participation, the statement said.

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Voting from home takes place with the involvement of a full contingent of polling staff and security personnel with secrecy of voting diligently maintained, the statement said.

A dedicated team of polling officials and security personnel visit the voters' residence to collect their votes, ensuring the voters are notified in advance to prepare for the visit.

The advance visit by the block level officers (BLOs) and SMS notifications to intimate about the scheduled home voting days will further enhance convenience and accessibility. The entire process will be videographed to ensure transparency.

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Malhotra, 92, used the home voting facility set up at his home in Rakabganj Road under the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency to vote on Thursday evening.

Malhotra said he has voted in all the elections held since 1952.

"I have been a proud voter in all elections ever since I became eligible, never having missed the democratic process.

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"This home facility to vote gave me an opportunity to ensure that I did not miss this poll either, especially considering I have some problems in walking now. This unique feature strengthens the health of democracy by providing the opportunity of voting in the comfort of the home of eligible voters so that no voter is left behind," he said.

A former BJP MP and former leader of the opposition in the Delhi assembly, Malhotra appealed to every eligible voter to cast their vote.

"Everyone must participate in the elections and cast their vote," he said. PTI SLB SLB KSS KSS

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