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Over 11 million NRIs, 20 lakh services personnel to be in electoral rolls

EVM machine

New Delhi: More than 11 million NRIs and 20 lakh defence and paramilitary personnel will soon be enrolled in electoral rolls with the government today setting the ball rolling for exploring ways for facilitating electronic voting for them.

During a high-level meeting chaired Home Minister Rajnath Singh and attended among others by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, the issue was discussed threadbare as to how to facilitate e-voting facility to NRI, defence, paramilitary and police personnel as directed by the Supreme Court.

Official sources said the option of sending ballot papers to services voters or uploading it in Election Commission websites was discussed.

However, the option of electronically sending the ballot to services voters or NRI voters after casting the vote is unlikely to be accepted as the secrecy of election will not be maintained at the receiving end, sources said.

But, sources said, the meeting considered the option of sending the ballot paper after casting the vote through courier. At present, the facility of postal ballot is available for services voters but it is considered to be time- consuming.

One of the options considered was sending ballot papers to services voters and NRIs electronically which could be filled and sent through a courier, the sources said.

It was felt that from the time of the last date of withdrawal of candidature to vote counting date, at least a fortnight is always available and a services voter or a NRI voter can courier his or her vote within that period, the sources said.

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