Lok Sabha Election: Innovative Voting Pattern from Pune’s Kasba Peth By-Elections Goes National

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Sumit Singh & Tikam Shekhawat
Pune, 24th February 2024: The by-elections held in Pune’s Kasba Peth constituency following the demise of MLA Mukta Tilak gained widespread attention for introducing a distinctive ‘voting pattern.’ This progressive method is now set to be adopted nationwide in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

For the first time in the history of Lok Sabha elections, a groundbreaking decision has been made to extend the opportunity to vote from home to citizens aged above 80 and those with more than 40 percent physical disabilities. This initiative will impact a significant number of individuals, with approximately 26 lakh 70 thousand people aged 80 and above, and 5 lakh 90 thousand 382 people with physical disabilities eligible to avail this voting facility.

Within five days of the Central Election Commission’s election announcement, district administrations will distribute the ’12-D’ application form directly to the eligible citizens whose names are on the voter list. These citizens will fill out the application, expressing their preference to vote from home or visit the actual polling station. The respective District Collectors will then review and decide on these applications.

While the option to vote at the polling station remains open, the introduction of this home voting facility aims to ensure that voters who are physically unable to visit the polling station are not deprived of their voting rights. To maintain transparency, political party representatives, election candidates, and election officials will be physically present during the home voting process, which will also be recorded.

Shrikant Deshpande, Maharashtra Chief Electoral Officer of the Central Election Commission, emphasized that the transparency of this novel voting facility will be meticulously maintained.