Kerala polls: Voting for 1st phase underway in five districts

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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. 

 

The first phase of Kerala local body polls begins on Tuesday.

The elections are being held in 6,910 wards in 395 local bodies in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki districts.

According to the news agency ANI report, over 6 per cent voting was recorded till 8.00 am. Voting is from 7 am to 6 pm

As per State Election Commission, Thiruvananthapuram recorded 5.68 per cent voting, Kollam recorded 6.04 per cent, Pathanamthitta recorder 6.64 per cent, while Alappuzha and Idukki recorded 6.30 per cent voting each till 8.00 am. Voting is scheduled to conclude at 6 pm.

According to the state election commission there are 88,26,873 voters in the first phase, including 41,58,395 males, 46,68,267 females and 61 transgender people.

As many as 11,225 polling booths have been set up. Webcasting has also been introduced in 320 problematic polling booths.  A total of 56,122 personnel have been deployed for election duty.

Kerala's three political coalitions -- CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are in the fray in these polls.

As per the report, 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, hose 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.

 

With inputs from ANI

Image: Representative purpose
 

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