Mothers with infants or kids in their arms will get an express clearance to vote at any polling booths during the Assembly elections later this year. The election department has directed all district electoral officers to allow women carrying babies to jump the queue and cast their votes ahead of others.
The decision, according to election department officials, has been taken to motivate young mothers to cast their vote in the elections scheduled on December 1. The election department provisioned the special arrangement in wake of practical problems faced by the females carrying infants with them.
Similar arrangements have been introduced for the physically challenged and senior citizens as well. According to their reports, such voters often skip the polls to avoid the harassment of standing in the queue for using the electoral franchise.
“Along with queues for males and females at the polling stations, the additional arrangements are directed to be made for the disabled, senior citizens and the females carrying babies in the lap,” a statement released by the election department for the district election officers said.
When contacted the chief electoral officer (CEO) Ashok Jain confirmed of such an arrangement. “If any woman having a baby cannot stay in the queue, then she would be allowed to vote first,” he said.
However, he has clarified that there would not be no separate queue for them.
“There are only two queues at the polling station: One for male and the other for women. We can’t arrange 3-4 queues. But, the women with babies would be given preference in voting under special arrangement,” explained Jain. Meanwhile, the CEO has asked the collectors to ensure water, shelter, electricity and ramps at the polling stations to facilitate the voters. “Along with this the medical facility will be available for the voters at the centers too,” an official said.