Polling in 14 of the 24 sensitive polling stations in Piravom Assembly constituency would be webcast live on Saturday to prevent malpractices in the by-election from the constituency.

Chief Electoral Officer Nalini Netto told the media on Thursday that polling would be recorded on video in six of the sensitive polling stations. Micro observers would be posted to the rest of the sensitive stations.

The Officer said that the election officials had also drawn up a list of persons who are reported absent, dead or having shifted residence after preparation of the voters’ lists. If any person in the list turns up for casting vote, he or she would be subjected to special scrutiny. Thumb impressions would be taken in such cases.

Ms. Netto noted electoral photo identity cards or voter’s slips issued by the Election Commission would be mandatory for casting votes. Help desks would function near booths to issue slips to those had not obtained them so far. Control rooms were functioning in the office of the Chief Electoral Office (Phone 471 2301080; Fax 2301081) and Ernakulam Collectorate (484 2350345) for the public to prefer complaints.

She said that 2417 complaints had been received about breach of code of conduct during the campaign and these had been dealt with. A complaint had also been received about Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s road show in the constituency.

Mr. Netto said that a holiday had been declared for government offices, quasi government establishments and other institutions within Piravom constituency under the Negotiable Instruments Act on the polling day. Orders had also been issued that voters from the Piravom constituency working outside the constituency should be given a holiday on March 17.

She said that teachers had been excluded from polling duty in view of the school examinations, besides women officials. Posting of polling officials to the polling stations would be done randomly and the postings would be announced only on Friday morning. A general election observer, an expenditure observer and 11 micro observers had been deputed to the constituency.

She said that exit polls should not be broadcast or published until 5.30 pm on Sunday as by-polls were taking place in other States on Sunday. The counting would begin at 8 am on March 21 at Nirmala High School at Muvattupuzha.

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