Teachers with postal vote deprived of voting rights: Voting duty

Hyderabad: Many teachers and professors in the city engaged in election duty for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are facing a dilemma as they have not been able to cast their vote through postal ballot with only two days left for voting on Monday. . , Expressing concern, they are worried about losing their fundamental rights while fulfilling their responsibilities towards the electoral process.

One such assistant professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University of Architecture and Fine Arts shared his disappointment, saying, “It is disappointing to see that despite being an integral part of the election process, we are unable to exercise our fundamental right. I spend months.” duties, only to find themselves unable to participate in the democratic process.”

Similarly, Ravi Kumar, a school teacher, told Deccan Chronicle, “As teachers, we are committed to upholding democratic values and educating the youth about the importance of voting. It is ironic that now we are not able to vote. are being deprived of their rights.”
Shashi Kiran, another assistant professor involved in training teachers for election duty, said, “At least people like me will get a few hours to cast their votes, but those posted far away from their constituencies will have to There is no joy.” A privilege.”

Adding to the concern, government doctors on emergency duty also raised their voices, fearing they would not be able to cast their vote.
Senior government doctor Dr Prakash Reddy said, “Although we understand the importance of emergency services, it is sad to think that we may not be able to exercise our right to vote. We urge the authorities That they provide us with options to ensure that.” “We are not disenfranchised.”

Around 2,64,043 employees had applied for Postal Ballot/EDC. Of them, 2,29,072 have opted for postal ballot, while 34,973 have preferred EDC. Meanwhile, of the 18,259 officials who opted for postal ballot at the three Voter Facilitation Centers (VFCs) in the city, only 14,292 have exercised their right to vote.
Another professor said, “This is a repeat of December 2023. This year too we had filled Form 12 but faced many issues ranging from our names missing to logistics issues regarding VFC stations.”

He said several requests were made to ensure voting at distribution and reception centers (DRCs) in the early hours of polling day but to no avail.
The issue has raised questions about the preparedness of the electoral system to meet the needs of those deployed on essential duties during elections, and calls for more flexible voting arrangements, such as expanded postal ballot facilities or alternative voting options, so that To ensure that people serving the nation in various capacities are not deprived of their democratic rights.

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