CHENNAI: Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni on Friday said that the Election Commission had decided to issue new Electors Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) free of cost to voters in the four flood-affected districts.
Answering queries of mediapersons at the Secretariat, the CEO said the State Election Department had sought details of the areas that were severely affected and those where the impact was partial.
He said once the information was received from the district administrations concerned, the EC would issue fresh EPIC cards to all voters in the areas which were completely inundated, assuming that they would have lost their cards. In the areas where the impact of the floods was partial, they could get the EPIC cards by sending an SMS. The mobile number to which the SMS should be sent and other information are likely to be made known to the public on December 14.
Meanwhile, sources said the preparations for 2016 Assembly elections had begun in a few other States where the elections would be held in April-May next year. In West Bengal, top officials from the EC had already begun preliminary work on Thursday. In Tamil Nadu, due to heavy floods, the preliminary works are likely to commence after 10 days.
Already, the EC had postponed the publication of final electoral rolls for the ongoing special summary revision from January 11 to 20, due to heavy rains in four districts. As such, the time for disposal of claims and objections given by the voters and those who had applied for enrolment in the electoral rolls has been extended up to December 20.
Sources also said there was no possibility of postponing the Assembly elections in TN as the floods had affected only four out of the 32 districts.