Bengaluru, Oct 31 (IANS) The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Saturday released fresh guidelines to allow Covid patients to exercise their franchise by wearing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kit, during the last hour of Assembly by-election in Karnataka slated for November 3.
Besides, senior citizens above 80 years, persons with disability flagged in electoral roles and Covid suspects or affected persons will be allowed to cast their votes through the postal ballots.
The last hour of polling will be dedicated exclusively to allow voters who are Covid patients, home isolation patients and home quarantine patients, the EC statement said.
EC official further added that Covid positive persons wearing full PPE kit will arrive in a dedicated ambulance.
“Services of health workers, health nodal officers will be utilized to facilitate voting by Covid suspects and affected persons. Instructions have been issued to the District authorities to strictly follow the Covid guidelines in the voting process,” the officials said and added that persons from the containment zone, asymptomatic home isolation patients and all others must wear masks compulsorily.
As far as the postal ballots are concerned, the Sira constituency otherwise sleepy town in semi-arid Tumkuru district always goes hyper during elections. The statistics released by the EC is indicated the situation.
In Sira, there are 4,941 eligible senior citizen are there and of these 2,790 have opted postal ballots, persons with disabilities, 3,566 eligible voters, 2,093 have opted postal ballot and of the 169 Covid patients, 136 have already opted for postal ballots, the EC official said.
Where as in RR Nagara, there are 2,956 eligible senior citizen while 489 have opted so far to cast their franchise through postal ballot, whereas there are 278 persons with disability are eligible, but so far only 23 have opted through postal ballot and 0f the 250 Covid positive patients, none have opted postal ballot yet.
The EC has constituted special teams to visit such people’s houses to deliver and collect postal ballots from them after following due verification process.
These voters will be intimated in advance about the special team’s visit to their premises, the EC statement said.
The visiting EC team will brief the electors about the procedure of voting and ensure secrecy of voting.
“Police will accompany wherever the special team goes to deliver and collect the postal ballots. The entire process will be videographed to ensure transparency,” the official claimed and added the candidates will also be informed about such a visit facilitation postal ballot.
The EC official claimed that the requisition forms had already been distributed to all such electors and their choice had been compiled.
The visiting team will brief the electors about the procedure of voting and ensure secrecy of voting.