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Karnataka by-elections: Postal ballot facility for those infected by COVID-19

By PTI

BENGALURU: The postal ballot option which was for disabled persons and elderly people above 80 years, has been extended to those who have tested positive for coronavirus or undergoing home or institutional quarantine for the byelections in Karnataka.

Rajarajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru urban district and Sira in Tumakuru district are going to the bypolls on November 11, while elections to four MLC seats — two each related to Teachers Constituencies and Graduate Constituencies– are scheduled on October 28.

According to the order issued by the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka Sanjiv Kumar, the returning officer will have to make arrangements to deliver postal ballot and to get it collected from the said elector before the date fixed for poll in the constituency.

The order said the application for postal ballot paper from such electors should be accompanied by a copy of certificate or instructions from competent health authorities which show that the applicant is hospitalised in the state or in quarantine within the state due to COVID-19.

“The voter will be intimated in advance about the date and approximate time of visit of poll officials. Such intimation may be given through SMS on the mobile phone number wherever the same has been mentioned in the application in Form-12D,” the order read.

In view of the polls, the election commission has made masks, sanitisers, thermal screening and social distancing mandatory for the voters willing to vote. The polling officers should wear face shields and gloves.

The CEO has permitted door-to-door campaign and public meetings subject to strict adherence to the coronavirus guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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