The Election Commission of India (ECI), on Friday, announced guidelines for Bihar Assembly elections and by-polls amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ECI, in its guidelines, has for the first time allowed candidates to file their nominations online and has made it mandatory for registered voters to wear hand gloves and face masks before heading over to the EVM machines to cast their votes.
The polling body will also provide hand sanitisers, face masks to voters, and facial PPE kits to children accompanying their parents to polling stations. Thermal screening of all persons will be done at the polling booths to ensure that any symptomatic coronavirus patient is not permitted to enter.
Candidates in the fray have been allowed to file their nominations online in order to limit unnecessary physical contact.
Among all these firsts, the ECI has also allowed candidates to make security deposits through online payment.
The polling body has also extended the option of postal ballot facility to the electors marked as 'persons with disabilities', people above the age of 80 years, people employed in notified essential services, and those who are COVID-19 positive/possibly infected.
The ECI has made it clear that the candidates/parties standing in the elections can hold public meetings and roadshows subject to containment measures issued by the home ministry to check the spread of COVID-19.
Furthermore, the polling body has limited the number of persons, who can participate in door-to-door campaigning, to five, including the candidate.
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