Members of the Election Commission addressing a press meet | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Thiruvananthapuram: Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran stated that postal vote will be available for COVID patients and for those who are under quarantine.
The list of COVID patients and those in quarantine will be prepared 10 days before the election. Postal ballots will be allotted as per this list, the Election Commissioner informed. He was speaking to the media regarding LSG poll preparations.
The list prepared by the Health Department will be handed over to the District Election Officer and a copy of that will be distributed to the Returning Officers as well. A Special Polling Officer, a Special Polling Assistant and a police officer will distribute the ballot to the patients at their respective homes.
Postal voters will be labeled as special voters. The vote can be cast after they sign the affidavit before the Special Polling Officer. The ballot paper has to be kept inside an envelope before it is handed over. There will be 3 ballot papers including gram panchayat, block panchayat and district panchayat. All three ballot papers have to be handed over along with the affidavit. The ballot papers can also be sent via post.
No charge will be levied for distributing the ballot papers. This service will be given to all patients who test positive for COVID-19 before 3 pm on the day before the election. The voting time will be extended for those who test positive after 3 pm. The commissioner said that they will be allowed to vote after 6 pm when all voters have cast their votes.
COVID patients have to reach the polling stations before 6 pm. They will be allowed to vote after the last person standing in the queue at 6 pm has voted. Officers at the polling station have to wear PPE kits before the COVID patients enter the polling station. The patients will also have to wear PPE kits ahead of casting their votes.
The Election Commissioner said that if the polling agency has any doubts regarding the identity of the person in the PPE kit, then the kit will be opened. The polling station will be sanitized after the patients leave the station.
Ink will not be applied on the fingers of postal ballot voters. The details of a patient staying in another district will be handed over to the Returning Officer by the Collector of the respective district. Facilities will be made for such patients to send the ballots via post.
V Bhaskaran also stated that the distribution of ballots will take place from December 2. The application form for the postal ballot will be available on the website of the Election Commission.