COVID positive voters can cast their votes: Collector

Karimnagar Collector K.V. Karnan reviewing arrangements at a counting centre set up at SRR college in Karimnagar city on Sunday.  

Election Commission of India wants every election in the country to be fair and free. While ensuring a fair and free poll, authorities decided that Huzurabad bypoll to be a ‘safe’ election as well in the backdrop of COVID-19 pandemic.

Karimnagar District Collector and Election Officer R.V. Karnan is taking all steps for the safety of voters, all polling personnel, candidates, their agents and even their drivers.

Not leaving anything to chance, the district administrative head is monitoring every aspect of the bypoll with minute details.

Accompanied by Additional Collector (Local Bodies) Garima Agarwal and Additional Collector G.V. Shyam Prasad Lal, he reviewed arrangements at the counting centre located at SRR Degree College in Karimnagar city on Sunday.

He inspected the two counting halls and two strong rooms where EVMs would be kept.

The Collector even went to the points where food would be arranged for the polling staff and the electronic sign board meant for public to follow the progress of counting of votes. Mr. Karnan told the authorities to keep in mind the likelihood of rain and make arrangements accordingly.

Can voters who tested positive for Coronavirus exercise their franchise?

Surely. There are no restrictions for voters who contracted COVID-19. We announced the option of postal ballot for such persons but no one opted for it.

Still, persons with coronavirus can come to polling booth and cast their vote.

We are providing PPE kits at each polling station with the health desk.

However, they are allowed to vote during the final hours of voting, like around 6 p.m.

They should inform the health desk personnel, who in turn would alert the presiding officer.

We don’t have any restrictions for voters.

What about candidates, their polling, counting agents?

They need to be double vaccinated. However, if double vaccination is not done, they should take RT-PCR tests 48 hours to 72 hours ahead of counting/polling. We ourselves will take samples.

What precautions are taken for safety of polling personnel in the backdrop of Nagarjunasagar by-poll experience?

Each polling station would have a four-member team. All of them are double vaccinated.

For 306 polling stations, we required 1,200 plus employees. Generally, we take 25% reserve but due to COVID-19, 40% reserve is maintained and that too with employees who took second dose of vaccination.

Any special security arrangements for polling, counting?

Three tier security layers. Inner circle would be monitored by central para military forces.

Secondary layer would be in the hands of State special security forces, and local law and order police would be in charge of the outer layer.

Any changes in voters list?

Earlier, the voters list was up to January, 2021. As per the latest, voters enrolled till September 28, 2021 are eligible to vote.

Accordingly, supplementary rolls were prepared and given to political parties.

In Huzurabad, 98% persons above 18 years are covered with first dose. Nearly, 65% of voters are covered with second dose. Attempts are on to ramp up double vaccination.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 3:16:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/covid-positive-voters-can-cast-their-votes-collector/article37152884.ece

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