Online nomination, face masks must: Election Commission issues guidelines for polls amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Updated: Aug 21, 2020 5:36 PM

The Election Commission said candidates can file nominations online. Besides, every person shall wear a face mask during every election related activity.

Election Commission releases guidelines for conducting elections during coronavirus outbreak.

The Election Commission of India on Friday issued guidelines for the conduct of general elections/by-elections during COVID-19 outbreak. The commission said that candidates can file nominations online. It said every person shall wear a face mask during every election related activity.

Thermal scanning of all persons will be carried out at the entry of hall and sanitiser, soap and water will be made available. Also, it said that social distancing will be maintained as per the Covid-19 guidelines set by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state government.

Regarding the nomination process, the ECI said that the nomination form will be available online on the website of the CEO and DEO. Candidates can file their nominations online and its prints will be taken for submission before the Returning Officer. It also said affidavits may also be filed online and the same should be submitted along with the nomination to the RO. Security money, it said, should also be deposited through online mode at the designated platform. The candidate will, however, have an option to deposit the security in cash in the treasury.

The poll panel said that the number of persons accompanying the candidate for the submission of nomination has been restricted to two. Besides, the number of vehicles for the purpose of nomination should not exceed two.

Regarding the use of EVMs and VVPATs, the ECI said that first and second randomisation and preparation of the EVMs and VVPATs will be done in a large hall. It said that sufficient quantities of sanitisers will be made available for the officials involved in the process. Also, gloves will be made available to each official handling EVMs and VVPATs.

The training of election officials will be organised in a decentralised manner at large halls. It said all sufficient number of poll staff will be kept in reserve in case of any need.

The poll panel further said that the option of postal ballot will be extended to electors who are Covid-19 positive, suspect and under quarantine at home or institution. Besides, the facility will also be provided to those marked as persons with disabilities, above 80 years and notified under essential services,

The ECI promised that an adequate number of vehicles will be mobilised for movement of polling officials, security personnel.

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