Video Producer: Kaushiky Kashyap
Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan
The Election Commission of India on Friday, 21 August, issued guidelines for the conduct of elections amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Bihar Assembly elections, which is just around the corner, will be the first major election to be conducted in the country amid the pandemic.
Here’s all you need to know about the fresh guidelines.
What are some of the basic guidelines I should know about?
- Every person has to wear a mask during any election-related activities
- Large halls to be identified and utilised for election activities
- Standard safety measures like using sanitizers, installing thermal scanners and wearing personal protection equipment (PPE) kits will continue during the election process
- Physical distancing to be maintained at all times
Is it safe to press the EVM machine?
While one cannot say how safe it is to use the EVM, the EC has mandated gloves for all voters.
How will COVID positive patients cast their vote?
Voters who are infected with COVID-19 and are observing quarantine will be allowed to cast their vote at the last hour of the poll day at their respective polling stations, reported India Today. This will be done under the strict supervision of health authorities.
What if I live in a containment zone? How can I vote?
The Election Commission is expected to release guidelines for the same in days to come.
How will candidates file their nomination?
Candidates have been given the option to file their nomination online and all the necessary affidavits will also be made available online.
What are the rules for campaigning?
- Public meetings and road shows can be organised but must follow COVID-19 containment conditions set by the Home Ministry
- A group of five persons, including candidates but excluding security personnel, is allowed to do door-to-door campaigning
When will Bihar elections be held?
Bihar Assembly elections are due to be held in October-November 2020. The dates for the polls will be announced by the Election Commission soon.