At least one polling station managed exclusively by women will be set up in every assembly constituency to the extent possible in the five states for which elections were announced on Saturday. The Election Commission said as part of its firm commitment towards gender equality and greater constructive participation of women in the electoral process, it has directed that, to the extent possible, at least one polling station managed exclusively by women will be set up in every assembly constituency in Goa, Manipur, Punjab Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
In such polling stations, all election staff, including police and security personnel, will be women. Referring to arrangements on counting day, March 10, the commission said before retrieving the result from control units, seals are verified, and unique serial numbers of these are tallied before counting agents deputed by candidates.
EVMs and paper trail machines are stored back in strong rooms in the presence of candidates or their representatives, till the completion of the election petition period of 45 days, it said. In this period, petitions challenging the results can be filed in respective high courts.
Following the practice started during the Bihar assembly polls, the Election Commission (EC) said senior citizens above the age of 80 and those infected with Covid will be allowed the option of voting from the comfort of their homes. It said polling personnel will go to the house of those taking this option and provide them with ballot papers to cast their vote. Contesting candidates and their agents will be kept informed and strict secrecy will be ensured through videography of such voters, the EC said In view of the prevailing the Covid situation, the commission said mandatory sanitisation of polling stations, preferably, a day before the poll will be carried out.
Thermal checking of voters at entry point of polling stations, either by polling staff or paramedical staff or ASHA workers will be undertaken, it said. If the temperature of the voter is above the set norms of the health ministry in the first reading, then it will be checked twice. If it remains, then the elector will be provided with a token and will be asked to come for voting at the last hour of polling, the EC said. At the last hour of poll, such electors will be facilitated for casting their vote, strictly following Covid-related preventive measures, it said.