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Follow EC guidelines, Collector tells polling officers

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Ground work: Presiding officers participating in a training programme in Anantapur on Sunday.
Ground work: Presiding officers participating in a training programme in Anantapur on Sunday.

Staff Reporter

Training programme held in Anantapur

POs told to update knowledge by following handbook

EC keeps issuing new guidelines from time to time

ANANTAPUR: The role of presiding officers was very crucial in the conduct of elections and they must exercise their duties as per the Election Commission guidelines by following the handbook prepared for the purpose, District Election Officer and District Collector V. Anil Kumar said here on Sunday.

In a training programme for presiding officers and assistant presiding officers held here he said the training was being held in all mandal headquarters across the district. In all, 68,094 presiding and assistant presiding officers with 31,034 POs, 31,034 APOs and 10 per cent reserve staff were given the first phase training on Sunday.

Though most of the POs would have the experience of conducting the elections they were required to update their knowledge by following the handbook prepared and issued by the EC to them, as the EC would keep issuing new guidelines from time to time.

Every polling officer must have complete understanding over the functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs). If they had any doubts even after the first phase of training, they could get the doubts clarified in the second phase training scheduled on April 15 and the third phase on April 21.

Strict timings

Presiding officers, APOs and other polling staff should follow the timings strictly and should take the polling equipment and material on the day of distribution by noon and reach their allotted polling stations by the evening. They should get everything ready for the polling in the night itself on the day before polling day so that the polling could be commenced without any hassles on the day of polling.

He also cautioned the polling staff against going to the houses of any person in the allotted village and said they should avail stay and food facilities being arranged by the Revenue Department. They should conduct mock (model) polling from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. on the day of polling and should seal the EVMs and their control units in the presence of polling agents of contestants.

Key document

The presiding officer’s diary was also a key document in the conduct of elections and they must note down every incident related to polling in it, including the polling percentages every two hours. The elections would have mock polling certificate, micro observers and closed circuit cameras for the first time. The polling and presiding officers should not enter the voting compartment under any circumstances, the Collector said.

Anantapur Revenue Divisional Officer M. Gowthami also attended the similar training programmes held at five places in the district headquarters.


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