The Bihar Post

Bihar polls: EC’s guidelines for polling stations during COVID-19 situation

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NEW DELHI—The Election Commission has issued following guidelines to be followed at the polling stations during COVID-19 situation. These guidelines become significant in view of the upcoming assembly polls in BIhar.

1) Mandatory sanitization of Polling Station, preferably, a day before the poll.

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2) Thermal Scanner at the entry point of every polling station location.

3) Thermal Checking of voters at entry point of polling station location/ Polling station, either by polling staff or Para Medical staff or Asha worker.

4) If temperature is above the set norms of MoHFW at first reading, then it will be checked twice and if it remains, then the elector shall be provided with token/certificate and will be asked to come for voting at the last hour of poll. At the last hour of poll, such electors shall be facilitated voting, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures.

5) Help Desk for distribution of token to the voters of first come first basis so that they do not wait in the queue.

6) Marker to demonstrate social distancing for queue.

7) Earmarking circle for 15-20 persons of 2 yards (6 feet) distance for voters standing in the queue depending on the availability of space. There shall be three queues each, for male, female, and PwD/ Senior citizen voters.

8) The services of BLOs, volunteers etc may be engaged to monitor and regulate social distancing norms strictly.

9) One shaded waiting areas with chairs, dari etc. will be provided, for male and female separately, within the polling station premises so that voters can participate in voting without safety concerns.

10) Wherever possible, Booth App shall be used at the polling station.

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11) Soap and Water shall be provided at the entry/exit point of every polling station.

12) Sanitizer should be provided at the entry/exit point of every polling station

13) Face Masks in reserves for those electors who are not carrying the mask will be kept.

14) Awareness posters on COVID-19 should be displayed at visible locations.

15) Sitting arrangement in polling station for the polling personnel and polling agents shall be made as per the norms of social distancing.

16) If polling agent or counting agent is having temperature above the prescribed limit, then their reliever shall be allowed by Presiding Officer, who will keep a record accordingly.

17) During the process of identification of voter, the voters will require to lower the facemask for identification, when required.

18) At any given time, only 1(one) voter shall be allowed to stand in front of each polling official maintaining social distance.

19) Hand gloves shall be provided to the voter, for signing on the voter register and pressing button of EVM for voting.

20) Sanitizers shall be kept inside the booth at appropriate locations with clear direction for the use by voters.

21) COVID-19 patients who are quarantined will be allowed to cast their vote at the last hour of the poll day at their respective Polling Stations, under the supervision of health authorities, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures. Sector Magistrates shall coordinate this in their allocated polling stations.

22) In case of those voters who are residing in the area notified as containment zone, guidelines shall be issued separately.

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