During the course of Zila Panchayat elections in Goa on the 12th of December, COVID-19 victims will also be allowed to vote but only during the last hour of voting and after wearing full PPE gear. This instruction has been issued by the State Election Commission guidelines (SEC), on Wednesday.
As per the guidelines, the required number of PPE kits and hand gloves based on the number of coronavirus patients shall be provided by the returning officer to the block-level officers. Covid victims can use these items when they arrive at the polling station for voting.
7,91,814 voters spread over nearly 1,200 polling booths, eligible to cast their ballot
The guidelines also mandate poll officials to make a list of covid positive citizens in each of the 48 constituencies, which are going to poll in the coastal state, so that sufficient arrangements can be made at the respective polling booths, where the infected people are eligible to vote. The polling staff have been directed to thoroughly sanitise the polling station as well as regularly touched surfaces and articles inside the premises. Currently, 7,91,814 voters spread over nearly 1,200 polling booths are eligible to cast their ballot for the 48 Zila panchayat constituencies in the state.
State Poll Commission to follow guidelines of the Election Commission of India
"Covid-19 positive persons will be allowed to cast their vote during the last hour of the polling day i.e. between 4 PM to 5 PM. The block-level officers shall be instructed to identify the covid positive person in each polling station," the guidelines mentioned.
Further, it was drafted that if the temperature of a voter is above prescribed norms, the voter shall be asked to sit in the shed for 10 minutes and a second reading will be jotted down. But still, if the second reading is higher than the permitted scale, then the voter will be asked to come for polling at the last hour of the poll.
The State Election Commissioner, Chokha Ram Garg, had earlier stated that State Poll Commission was adopting the guidelines of the Election Commission of India, which were implemented during the recently conducted state assembly elections in Bihar.