An estimated 900 million voters cast their votes and decided the fates of 542 candidates aiming to find a place in the Lok Sabha of the Parliament. Out of these, at least 16.49 lakh voters have sent their postal ballots.
Those who cannot be present to cast their votes at the polling station due to their official commitments are allowed to use postal ballots. Postal ballots are in a physical form vis-a-vis the EVM which is an electronic machine used to cast votes. One has to manually choose the party and the candidate on the options on the postal ballot
Postal ballots are meant for government officials who are unable to cast their votes from a polling booth owing to official commitments. Military personnel, Ambassadors, High Commissioners, polling agents, presiding officers, public servants are those who are allowed to vote via a postal ballot.
Others from the common population who are allowed to use the postal ballot are people under preventive detention.
NRIs and those moving places within the country are not allowed to use the postal ballots.
The postal ballots are electronically transmitted to the service voters. They have to download it, fill it and send it by speed post. The voters choose their candidate by marking a tick or a cross.
They then place it in an envelope and label it as Form 13B. They also have to fill a declaration form and get it attested. The postal ballots are dispatched by speed post to the designated constituency.
They are counted first during the counting day.