Kerala

Special voters will have to buy their own PPE kit

Ready for polls: Polling officials preparing electronic voting machines for the local body elections at the centralised facility at Mar Ivanios College in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Five southern districts will go to the polls on December 8.  

Special voters who will be permitted to visit polling booths to cast their vote in the local body elections will have to buy their own PPE (personal protective equipment) kit if they are not hospitalised or quarantined in a government-run establishment.

Electors who test positive or go in quarantine after 3 p.m. on the day prior to the elections can cast their vote directly at the booths at the fag end of polling. They will have to reach the booth before 6 p.m. They will be provided PPE kit if they are staying at a government-run establishment, including government hospitals. A special voter who is quarantined at his own residence will have to equip himself with a PPE kit.

Also, “special voters staying at any place other than government hospital shall reach the polling station to exercise their vote by themselves. They should not stop in between the travel from home to the polling station. The driver should also wear a PPE kit while taking the patient. There should not be any bystander accompanying the patient in the same vehicle”, says the guidelines issued by the State Election Commission in this regard.

The commission had already made it clear that special voters will be allowed to vote only after all other ordinary voters and those who have been issued tokens have finished voting at 6 p.m. Special voters have to arrive at the booths before 6 p.m., though.

Given the COVID-19 scenario, the commission had decided to issue special postal ballot papers to special voters who test positive or are quarantined till 3 p.m. on the day prior to the poll. This category of special voters are named in the certified lists prepared by designated health officers for ten days ahead of the poll.

The commission had launched the distribution of special ballots to special voters in this category on December 2. Special voters also have the right to apply for postal ballot papers directly from the returning officers.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:55:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/special-voters-will-have-to-buy-their-own-ppe-kit/article33252287.ece

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