Bhubaneswar: Formal notification for the bye election to the Assembly Constituencies of Balasore Sadar and Tirtol has been issued today, Chief Electoral Officer, Sushil Kumar Lohani informed at a press meet here today. As per the election schedule, 9th October 2020 is date for commencement of Nomination, 16th October is last date of Nominations, scrutiny of nominations is on 17th October, 19th October is date for withdrawal of candidature, the polling is on 3rd November whereas counting is on 10th November. Poll process shall be completed by 12th November 2020.
He further informed that in view of the current pandemic situations counducting elections is a challenge. Election Commission has taken various measures to ensure “COVID SAFE ELECTION 2020”. As per the instructions of ECI, only two persons shall accompany the candidate during filing of nomination papers and only two nos. of vehicle to be used by the Candidate in this regards. Nomination process will be held in a big hall arranged by the Returning Officer to maintain social distancing in view of Covid-19. All other precautions like temperature measurement, use of mask & sanitizer etc. have to be ensured.
The facility of postal ballots will be extended to voters above 80 years of age, Persons with disabilities as well as Covid suspect & affected voters. These voters need to exercise their option in Form 12 “D” to be provided by the concerned Booth Level Officers who will be personally contacting them on or before 14th October 2020. Subsquently, once the list of candidates are finalized after last day of withdrawal, Designated Polling team with postal ballot will move door to door and contact the eligible voers who ahd applied earlier as per the planned route chart to collect the votes through postal ballot which will be held in top secrecy after 20th October 2020. Process of postal ballot voting shall be completed before the actual poll.
Political parties while moving house to house for election campaign,there shall be five persons to accompany with the candidate excluding security person with mask and social distancing. Public meeting by the political parties shall be held in a big and open place previously identify by the District Election Officer with a maximum 100 people as per the guideline issued by Odisha Disaster Management Authority.
In view of covid pandemic, voters per booth has been reduced to 1000 instead of 1500, as a result the numbers of booths have increased, as per the instructions from ECI. Booths will be properly sanitized, marks will be put on the floor outside the booth to ensure social distancing during queue, Gloves to be provided to all the voters in bye-election to sign in the register and to cast votes by pressing EVM button. Thermal scanning of voters will also be done and those found having high temperature or found any symptoms of covid shall be given a token by the polling officer to allow him/her to cast his/her vote in last hour of poll so that they are isolated.
Special kits are also being provided to the polling personnel to ensure their safety. Lohani further said that all steps are being taken to ensure COVID SAFE BYEELECTION and people in large number should avail the postal ballot facility as well as come out to vote on the day of the poll.