After a special drive was conducted in the city to ensure that more police personnel cast their votes, almost double the number of police staffers — over 5,000 — compared to the 2,500 who cast their votes in the Lok Sabha elections will be able to vote in the Assembly elections through postal ballots.
Before the LS polls, the Pune city police implemented postal ballot and election duty certificate systems to facilitate voting by on-duty personnel. Over 2,500 police staffers had cast their votes during the polls.
As per the Manual of Election Law, government staffers on election duty can cast their votes through two methods — postal ballot (PB) or election duty certificate (EDC). Those who have been assigned election duty in the same constituency where they are enrolled as voters, but at a different centre, have to fill form 12A. If adequate documents are submitted, an EDC is issued to the voter, following which he/she can vote from the booth of his election duty.
In the second case, if he/she is on election duty in a different constituency, an application under form 12 has to be submitted to the returning officer seven days before the election day. If the required documents about election duty are submitted along with it, a postal ballot form is sent by post to the voter.
For Lok Sabha polls, the Pune police appointed an officer to put a system in place and ensure that voting was done through PB and EDC.
Deputy commissioner of police Tushar Doshi, who is the nodal officer, said, “A lot of staffers were not registered. Some were not aware of the procedure and the others dispatched applications to wrong returning officers as their constituency changed due to delimitation.
After the Lok Sabha polls, we conducted a special drive to ensure that personnel filled form 6 for inclusion of names.”
DCP Doshi added, “At the time of Lok Sabha polls, it was easier for us to tell which policeman was deployed in which constituency as there were just four at each centre. But this time, we have 21 Assembly constituencies, making matters difficult for us. So we decided to give everyone postal ballots. We expect that this time all of them will cast their vote, taking the number to double of what we had in the Lok Sabha polls.”