As India gears up for the election season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several changes in the rules and regulations can be seen keeping in concern the safety of people. The dates for Odisha by-polls in Balasore and Tirtol Assembly constituencies were announced on by the Election Commission of India on Friday (October 9). As per the EC’s order the election in Odisha will be held on November 3.
While issuing the guidelines for the by-polls, the Election Commission stated that COVID-19 patients will also be allowed to cast their votes. For this, special arrangements will be made at the polling booth and isolation centres will be prepared for COVID-19 affected voters.
The voters will be allowed to cast their franchise at the last hour of polling, said the Election Commission. A separate voter list will also be prepared for COVID-19 patients.
As per the Commission’s plan, there would be separate queues for COVID patients at polling stations.
The same rules will also be applicable in the upcoming Bihar Assembly Elections 2020 which is starting from October 28. Issuing guidelines for Bihar elections, the Election Commission said Covid-19 patients who are quarantined will be allowed to cast their vote in the last hour of polling under the supervision of health authorities.
It has to be ensured that all Covid-19 related guidelines are strictly adhered to by all — poll officials, political parties and candidates, voters, security personnel, health workers and others — during each and every election related activity, the EC guidelines read.