Bhubaneswar9/9/20: COVID-19 affected voters would be allowed to cast their franchise at the last hour of the poll, said Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha, Sushil Kumar Lohani on Wednesday following a review meeting on Odisha by-poll.
As per a press note, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to conduct bye-elections to fill all the 64 vacancies in different State Assemblies of the country along with the General Elections to Bihar Assembly. The entire process is to be completed by 29th November 2020.
Two Assembly Constituencies of Odisha namely 38-Balasore and 102- Tirtol (SC) have fallen vacant due to sad demise of their sitting MLAs. Hence these two ACs will also go for the Bye-Elections.
In this context Chief Electoral Officer, Odisha, Sushil Kumar Lohani took a review meeting with the Collectors and SPs of Balasore and Jagatsinghpur through a Video Conferencing.
By-election may be declared by the Election Commission of India at any time during October-November 2020 and we have to conduct by-elections to the 102- Tirtol AC in Jagatsinghpur district and 38-Balasore AC which are lying vacant said Lohani.CEO, Odisha further directed both the DEOs & Collectors to follow the instruction/guidelines on COVID-19 while making all arrangements for by-election strictly till the completion of the poll. “Extensive awareness drive on mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, social distancing and thermal screening of voters as well as polling personnel, the appointment of Nodal Heath Officer at district and constituency level, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic during bye-election would be given top priority”, said the CEO Lohani.
All persons associated with the bye-elections must abide by the COVID-19 guidelines, use mask while coming to vote and follow the norms for hand sanitization and social distancing in the polling stations.
CEO took a detailed review on the preparatory activities for deployment and training programme of polling persons, vehicle arrangements, security arrangements, strong room, dispersal centre, and counting hall etc. Among other BP Ray, Addl. CEO, Joint CEO, SatrughnaKar, Collectors, and SPs of Balasore and Jagatsinghpur were present in the meeting through Video Conferencing.