ECI notifies changes to existing scheme for Kashmiri Migrants
Says no need to fill 'Form M'
TNN Bureau. Updated: 4/12/2024 12:02:26 AM

Jammu: The Election Commission of India has ordered multiple changes to the existing scheme of voting by Kashmiri Migrants at special polling stations to make electoral participation more inclusive and hassle-free for all sections of society, informed a press release.
As per the new arrangement, the Kashmiri migrant electors who are in various zones at Jammu and Udhampur shall no longer need to fill Form M, instead, they shall be mapped with the Special Polling Stations falling in the zones they are registered or residing.
In addition to this, the Commission also eased the process of filing Form M by those migrants who are staying outside Jammu and Udhampur, i.e. Delhi and other places in the rest of the country, by allowing 'self-attestation' instead of the earlier required certification by gazetted officers, however, they shall be required to fill Form M as earlier. Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Election Commission Sets April 12 for Gazette Notification of Phase 3 LS Polls.
Notably, there are four special polling stations for migrants as per past practice. Lok Sabha Elections 2024: PM Narendra Modi Lists Out BJP Govt's 'Achievements' at Karauli Rally, Says '25 Crore Indians Pulled Out of Poverty' (Watch Videos).
However, there is no change in the Postal Ballot facility and the same continues to be as notified earlier. They have to fill out Form 12 C to seek a postal ballot. Form 12 C can be filled by any migrant, no matter where he is residing - at Jammu /Udhampur or Delhi, Mumbai, Noida etc.
The amended arrangement envisages the mapping of all 22 special polling stations (21 in Jammu and 1 in Udhampur) to the 21 Zones (20 in Jammu and 1 in Udhampur) individually, ensuring that every zone has at least one Special Polling Station.
In case there are multiple polling stations in one zone, the zonal officers shall earmark the intra-zonal jurisdiction for each such polling station keeping in mind the distance/ease of approach for each set of electors.
Consequent to this, the electors staying in these zones shall be mapped to the respective polling stations by the respective AERO (Migrants) at Jammu and Udhampur, who shall also cull out Electoral roll extracts corresponding to each of these Special Polling Stations out of the basic electoral rolls of their respective assembly constituencies, the release further stated.
After due disposal of all objections/claims, the Assistant Returning Officers (Migrant) shall notify the final Electoral Roll Extracts for each Special Polling Station and the same shall be used at these polling stations on the day of the poll.
To ensure no elector who opted for postal ballot by filling Form 12 C gets the voting opportunity at these Special Polling Stations located at Jammu, Udhampur or Delhi, the ARO (Migrants) Jammu who is the nodal officer for Postal Ballot under the scheme, shall ensure that in case of form 12 C is received from any of the electors and postal ballot has been dispatched, marking of "PB" shall be made against the name of the said elector in the corresponding Electoral Roll Extracts.

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