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The Election Commission of India (ECI) has, for the first time in the history of the Lok Sabha elections, extended its ‘vote-from-home’ facility to Persons with Disabilities (PwD) and senior citizens aged 85 and above.

About Vote-from-Home

  • Who is eligible?
    • People aged 85 and above
    • Persons with Disabilities: The disability shall not be less than 40% of the prescribed handicap and certified by the certifying authority.
    • Mediapersons covering ‘polling day activities’: Carrying authorisation letters from the Election Commission
    • Workers from essential services: Services such as metros, railways and health care
    • Service voters: Personnel of the armed forces posted away from their hometowns, Central Armed Police Forces personnel deployed away from home and those on poll duty.

How to avail the vote-from-home facility?

  • Key to the process is Form 12D, which is a letter informing the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) that the person may not be in a position to go to the polling station to vote.
  • The form can be downloaded online from the ECI website or collected from the office of the representative district officer of a parliamentary constituency. 
  • The form has to be filled and submitted within five days of notification of the polling date.
  • Once filed, two polling officials, accompanied by a videographer and a security person, will visit the elector’s home and oversee the postal ballot voting process.
  • The voter will receive an intimation about the date and approximate time of visit via SMS or through post. The home voting option will be attempted twice.
  • The polling team will schedule a second visit if the elector fails to be at the given address during the first visit.
  • If the voter is absent on the second visit, “a further visit will not be entertained.” The voter will subsequently be ineligible to vote both at polling booths and through the home voting scheme.

Q1) What is the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF)?

Central Armed Police Forces is the collective name of central police organizations in India under the authority of Ministry of Home Affairs.These are technically paramilitary forces formerly known as “Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF)”. Since 2011, India adopted the term "Central Armed Police Forces" to drop the word "paramilitary".

Source: All about the vote-from-home facility in the Lok Sabha elections | Explained