Kerala

Special teams formed to distribute postal ballots

District Collector Navjot Khosa addressing a training session for special polling officers in Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.  

The district administration will deploy 300 officials for the distribution of special postal ballot papers to electors who are COVID-19 patients or in quarantine for the December 8 local body polls.

This includes 150 Special Polling Officers (SPO) and 150 Special Polling Assistants (SPA). The Police Department will assign 150 police officers for their security cover. Each team consists of one SPO, one SPA and a police officer.

Eighty-three teams are tasked with the distribution of the special postal ballots at the block panchayat level for the three-tier panchayats. Parassala (five teams), Perumkadavila (8), Athiyannoor (5), Nemom (13), Pothencode (6), Vellanad (11), Nedumangad (10), Vamanapuram (6), Kilimanoor (8), Chirayinkeezhu (5), Varkala (6).

One team each has been assigned for the Attingal and Varkala municipalities. Five teams each will distribute the ballots in the Nedumangad and Neyyattinkara municipalities.

Forty teams will be assigned the task in the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation limits, which have a high number of COVID-19 patients and quarantined electors.

A training session for the SPOs was held at the Collectorate on Saturday.

The initial certified list of special voters, prepared by designated health officers, will be ready by 3 p.m. on Sunday. Special ballots are issued on the basis of the certified list.

The process of preparing the lists will continue till December 7.

The State Election Commission had on Thursday issued special guidelines for enabling COVID-19 patients and people in quarantine to vote using postal ballots.

Eighteen items including PPE kits will be issued to the polling officials who are assigned the task of distributing the special ballots. This includes the special ballot, the declaration form, a form containing instructions for the voter, paper covers, application form, pen, gum, white papers, ink pad, register, facemasks, gloves, sanitiser and file board.

Historic decision

The decision to issue special postal ballots to COVID-19 patients and electors in quarantine will find a place in history, District Collector Navjot Khosa said.

She was addressing a training session for SPOs here. Calling a first-of-its kind process, she said that, in essence, the polling officers themselves will be functioning as the polling booths. The session was led by ADM V. R. Vinod and Deputy Collector (Election) John V. Samuel.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 12:13:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/special-teams-formed-to-distribute-postal-ballots/article33203002.ece

Next Story