Special ballot papers to be issued from Saturday

A health worker explaining the methods to follow COVID-19 protocol at a training programme for presiding officers ahead of the local body polls in Kozhikode on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: K. Ragesh

The district election office has made arrangements to issue application forms for the special postal ballot papers for those undergoing quarantine and COVID-19 patients from Saturday.

The printed application forms and covers, which reached the district, have been shifted to the material cell at the collectorate. This included the application for a special postal ballot paper and affidavit stating that the voter is a COVID-19 patient or those undergoing quarantine at homes or COVID-19 centres.

Nearly 2,16,750 application forms each and affidavit sheets for COVID-19 patients and those undergoing quarantine have been allotted for issue in the district. Besides, another 1,91,200 affidavit forms for voters and 43,500 witness forms and covers are also part of the materials.

The COVID-19 patients can take part in the postal vote from December 5 till 3 p.m. on December 13. The new rule was enforced based on the Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Municipality Act.

COVID-19 patients, who are unable to vote through a special postal ballot, can exercise their franchise after the official polling ends at 5 p.m. on December 14. They would have to wear the mandatory PPE kit. There are 2,987 polling booths in the district. Facilities have been made at the booths for social distancing in view of the spread of COVID-19.

Training for staff

Meanwhile, the training for polling officers commenced in the district. Adhering to the COVID-19 protocol, the training was held at the Kozhikode taluk office, Vadakara municipal hall, and Koyilandy municipal hall. The polling officers were tutored on handling the voting machines and using the poll manager app.

The training was imparted for polling officers and presiding officers. They were coached on the precautionary steps to be taken for voters who have tested positive including the using and safe disposal of PPE kits.

Training was completed for sectoral officers for the distribution of polling materials at various centres.

Candidates and political parties have been allowed to employ dummy ballot paper and ballot units for awareness campaigns. However, the dummy ballot paper should not be identical to the original in size and colour. The State Election Commission has decided to use white ballot paper for grama panchayats, municipalities and corporations; sky blue colour for district panchayats and pink for block panchayats.

Candidates can print their names and symbols on the dummy ballot paper but not their rival contestants and symbols.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 4:44:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/special-ballot-papers-to-be-issued-from-saturday/article33225472.ece

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