Bhubaneswar: Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha S K Lohani today informed that formal notification for the bye-election to be held for the two Assembly constituencies of Balasore and Tirtol will be issued on October 9.
Model Code of Conduct (MCC) has come into force in Balasore and Jagatsinghpur districts with effect from today wherein Balasore and Tirtol constituencies are located, informed the CEO.
“This model code of conduct applies to political parties, candidates and State Government. The same model code of conduct also applies to the Union Government,” he clarified.
Lohani said that the last date for filing of nominations for the two aforementioned constituencies has been fixed for October 16, while the date for scrutiny of nominations is October 17, the last date for withdrawal of nominations is October 19, polling will be held on November 3, counting of votes will take place on November 10 and election process has to be completed by November 12.
The CEO informed that preparations for the conduct of the polls have started.
Electoral Rolls which were valid as on January 1, 2020, will be used, he added.
Sharing details of the number of voters in the two constituencies, Lohani said that Balasore Assembly constituency has a total of 2,26,586 voters, while there are 2,38,056 voters in Tirtol Assembly constituency.
“In view of the situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic the Election Commission (EC) has taken some new measures and made changes in some rules for the conduct of elections. One of those is limiting the number of voters allowed to cast their vote in one booth to 1000 from the earlier limit of 1,500. So a maximum of 1000 voters can cast their votes in one booth,” the CEO explained.
Lohani said that as a consequence of the aforementioned change, the number of booths has increased like in the case of Balasore which earlier had 198 booths have now increased to 346 with the creation of 148 auxiliary booths.
Similarly, in Tirtol constituency there were 265 booths earlier and with the creation of 108 auxiliary booths as per the changed norms, the total number of booths has increased to 373 booths this time, he added.
He said that there have been nearly 40% increase in the number of booths which has resulted in increased requirements in logistics and manpower, polling personnel, and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
Accordingly, preparations have been made, he added.
Informing on the type of EVMs to be used in the forthcoming bye-elections, the CEO said, “This time we will be using M3 model EVM and VVPAT which is the latest model. This model has certain improved features for smooth conduct of voting.”
Lohani said that EVMs have been already despatched to the two constituencies.
First-level technical check of the EVMS has been done, he added.
Senior citizens aged 80 years or above and persons with disabilities (PWDs) can exercise their franchise through postal ballots if they wish so, Lohani informed.