Elaborate arrangements in place for bypolls

Over 42,500 personnel deployed for smooth conduct of the byelections on Dec. 5

The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements by stepping up surveillance in the border areas of the 15 Assembly constituencies where bypolls will be held on December 5. Over 42,500 polling personnel, including 2,511 staff from the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), are being deployed to conduct the bypolls.

As many as 37,77,970 voters, apart from 79,714 young voters, will decide the fate of 165 candidates, including nine women. The total number of voters include 4,711 service voters. Campaigning will come to an end at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and any direct or indirect reference amounting to soliciting support for parties or candidates in the 15 constituencies has been prohibited, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar told presspersons on Monday

Giving details on the bypoll arrangements, he said that of the 4,185 polling stations, 884 have been identified as ‘critical’ polling stations.

To ensure transparency and monitoring of any untoward incidents in the critical-polling booths on election day, the commission has facilitated Internet Protocol (IP) based webcasting in 206 polling booths. “While 414 polling stations will be covered by CAPF personnel, 805 will be covered by micro-observers. As many as 259 polling stations will be covered by videographers,” he said.

Of the total 4,185 polling stations, 39 polling stations will be manned by all women, 13 completely by persons with disabilities, and three have been identified as ethnic polling booths. All three ethnic booths are in Hunsur.

The commission has arranged for over 3,189 wheelchairs for 24,744 persons with disability, who are registered voters this time. As many as 15,593 of these voters are orthopaedically challenged and 2,748 are visually-impaired. Wheelchairs will be available in all the polling booths, Mr. Kumar said.

Pre-poll seizures

As on Monday, the pre-poll seizures made by the Election Commission, including by the police surveillance squads and Income Tax Department, touched ₹10.7 crore. This includes ₹4.16 crore cash, ₹1.95 crore worth freebies and other items, and ₹4.58 crore-worth liquor.

Preventing impersonation

The Election Commission has prepared a list of voters found absent from their place of residence during a door-to-door survey by Booth Level Officers (BLOs), in an attempt to keep a check on impersonation. The names of those dead or who have shifted residence has also been added to the list. The Absentee, Shifted, Dead (ASD) list will be given to Presiding Officers on the poll day. Officers are required to doubly check the identity of voters whose names are on the ASD list, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar has said.

Photo voter slips

While the Election Commission has distributed nearly 85% voter slips containing details of voters, polling stations, BLO contact details, poll date, and timings, it is not an authorised document for identification of an elector to participate in polling. “We are issuing plastic-coloured EPIC cards to voters and distribution will be completed by Tuesday. People, whose names figure in the voters’ list, can also vote with any of the 12 alternative documents that have been approved by the Election Commission,” CEO Sanjiv Kumar has said.

FIRs lodged

Based on media reports and complaints against candidates for violation of model code of conduct, the Election Commission has lodged 197 FIRs so far. They include the ones registered against Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, former Speaker K.R. Ramesh Kumar, and Health Minister B. Sriramulu.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 4:14:54 PM |

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