Kerala local body elections: Phase 2 of polling underway in 5 districts

South India
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As many as 12,643 polling booths have been set up and webcasting has also been introduced in 473 problematic polling booths. A total of 63,187 personnel have been deployed for election duty.

 

The second phase of the local body polls which is crucial for the traditional fronts in Kerala- the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front, Congress-headed United Democratic Front and BJP-NDA, got underway in five districts on Thursday.

The second phase of polling is underway in Kerala across Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad districts

Polling for 8,116 wards in 451 local bodies began at 7 am and will close at 6 pm.

According to the media report, over 15 per cent voting was recorded till 9.00 am. 

According to the figures provided by the state election commission as of 9 am, an overall 15.87 per cent  polling has been recorded in the first two hours. 

Wayanad was ahead with 16.63 per cent , followed by Kottayam with 16.52 per cent, Thrissur with 15.94 per cent , Ernakulam with 15.66 per cent and Palakkad with 15.36 per cent.

As many as 12,643 polling booths have been set up and webcasting has also been introduced in 473 problematic polling booths. A total of 63,187 personnel have been deployed for election duty.

The local body polls (Panchayats, Municipalities and Corporations) are being held under strict Covid-19 norms with voters being asked to sanitise their hands as they enter and exit the polling booths.

To maintain social distance markers are used and face masks are mandatory. Only three voters are allowed inside the booth at a time.

Apart from postal ballots, Covid-19 patients are allowed to vote after regular voters cast their votes. Listed as special voters, they must arrive at the polling station before 6 pm. 

Polling officials and agents are instructed to wear a PPE kit before special voters can enter the polling station. 

As per the report, all procedures applicable to ordinary voters for identification and application of ink are applicable to Special Voters. But they are asked to use the voting machine only by wearing gloves. The signature will be recorded in the voter register using a special pen.

According to the report, those treated at government-run hospitals will be taken to the polling station by the health department. Special voters living in non-government-controlled institutions or homes should come with a PPE kit at their own expense. Drivers carrying them must also wear a PPE kit.

The first of the three-phase election in the state witnessed a voter turnout of 72.67 per cent, with 98,57,208 voters participants, including 51,28,361 females, 47,28,489 males, 93 transgenders and 265 NRIs.

The final phase will be held on December 14. 

Votes will be counted on December 16.

 

Image credit: DNA India
 

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