State may need auxiliary polling stations

With the publication of the final voters' list, a clearer picture of a major challenge involved in the organisation of the 2021 Assembly polls has emerged.

Kerala is going to need 15,730 auxiliary polling stations in addition to the existing 25,041 stations, taking the total number to 40,771. Given the COVID-19 scenario, the Election Commission has set a condition limiting the number of voters for each polling station at 1,000. Auxiliary stations will be established wherever the number of voters exceeds 1,000.

Kerala has a little over 2.67 crore voters as per the final voters' list published on Wednesday.

But finding space for the auxiliary stations is going to be a challenge, according to Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena. Election Commission guidelines state that the auxiliary stations should be located in the same building as the main station as far as possible. The commission guidelines permit the establishment of polling stations in temporary structures wherever no suitable government buildings are available. But this would be a last resort, Mr. Meena said.

More polling stations also mean the commission would have to deploy additional polling officials and security personnel.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 11:32:15 AM |

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