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EC Issues New Regulations for Elections in Corona Era

Election commission

The Election Commission has issued rules and regulations for all general elections and by-elections to be held in the Corona era. It has been clarified that all election related work will have to be adopted to prevent the corona. The rules of social distancing have to be followed along with wearing masks during every election related activity. From campaigning to voting will be quite different. The Election Commission has issued special rules for all activities.

Voting facilities will be provided through postal ballots to the differently-abled, the elderly over 80 years, the employees engaged in essential services and the corona-infected people.

Nomination Can be Filled Online

Online nomination facility will be available for candidates contesting elections. Candidates will submit the online form and submit the print to the Returning Officer. Affidavits can also be submitted online. The bail amount can also be deposited online. However, there will also be an option to deposit cash.

Election Campaigning Procedure

Many rules have also been made for election campaigning in the Corona period. Candidates can preach from house to house with a maximum of five persons (excluding security personnel). During the roadshow, the convoy of vehicles will be divided into 5-5 vehicles. The rallies can be approved on the basis of Covid-19 guidelines. For this, many instructions have been given to the District Election Officers.

Booths to be Sanitised Before Voting

The booths will be sanitized a day before the voting. A thermal scanner will be provided at the entrance of all polling stations. Thermal scanning of all voters will be done through polling staff or para medical staff or ASHA workers.

Thermal scanning on every booth

District Election Officers will decide the venue for public meetings, which will have entry and exit points. Social distancing will have to be followed at public places. The Nodal District Health Officer will be involved in the process to follow the Covid-19 guidelines. The District Election Officer and SP will ensure that no more people gather than the approval from the State Disaster Management Authority.

If the body temperature of a voter exceeds the criteria set by the Ministry of Health, then its temperature will be measured again. If this time is too high, such voters will be given a token and asked to come in the last hour of voting. Such voter will be finally voted on with more precautions related to Covid-19.

Long queues to be eliminated

All voters will be given tokens on first come-first-served basis, so that people do not have to wait in the queue. Marks will be made on the ground to follow social distancing. There will be a distance of 6 feet between two voters. Waiting areas will be created for female and male voters. Soap and water will be provided at the entry exit point of all polling stations. Sanitizers will be provided at all entry and exit points.

Those who do not have masks will be made available at polling stations. The seating arrangement of the polling agent and staff will be based on social distancing rules. Voters will have to face down with a mask when needed for identification. There will be only one voter at a time in front of polling officers. All voters will be provided with gloves to press the EVM button.

In the Corona era, arrangements have been made to reduce the number of voters at booths, that is, the number of booths will be increased. A booth will have a maximum of 1000 voters. Earlier this limit was 1500 voters.

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