THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Arrangements for the smooth conduct of the bypoll in the Piravom Assembly segment have been finalised, with an electorate of 1.83 lakh all set to exercise their franchise in the crucial polls on March 17.
State Chief Electoral Officer Nalini Netto told reporters here on Thursday that 134 polling stations had been set up, of which 12 were urban and the rest classified as rural, for the polls.
The polling will commence at 7 a.m. and end at 5 p.m. In all the polling booths, electronic voting machines have been provided. 26 polling stations have been identified as trouble-prone. Out of the total electorate, women voters (93,245) outnumber males(89,925). There are 323 service voters, comprising 240 men and 83 women. There are also 18 NRI voters in the list, including five women.
In the polling stations, a first presiding officer and second presiding officer will be in charge. In booths where the number of voters is above 1,200, a third presiding officer will also be assigned, the CEO said.
Officials will come to know about their station of duty only on Friday morning, after a random selection mechanism, she said.
Voters should present their Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or Voters Slip at the booth to cast their votes. A Help Desk will be functioning in the polling stations.
The CEO said that a list of Absent, Dead and Shifted (ADS) has also been finalised, to avoid bogus voting in the name of those who are not physically present, though their names continues in the voter’s list.
Special scrutiny and recording of the thumb impression of those in the ADS list will be mandatory for casting their votes, she insisted.
Nalini Netto said that live web casting will be arranged in 14 of the 26 trouble-prone booths. Polling in six booths will be video graphed and in the rest of the total 26 booths, micro observers will be monitoring.
Control rooms will be functioning at the Ernakukam Collectorate (0484-2350345) and in the CEO’s office (0471-2301080).
Counting of votes will be taken up at the Nirmala Junior School, Muvattuppuzha, on March 21, from 8 a.m. The trend of the poll outcome will be available within an hour, the CEO said.
To a query, she said that 2,417 complaints had been received so far on the violation of code of conduct for the polls and action had been taken in all.
She also said that a complaint on the road show conducted by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy as part of the campaigning has been received. ‘’It is being looked into,’’ she said.
The CEO said that the Central Election Commission has been apprised of the resignation of the Neyyattinkara MLA R Selvaraj from the Assembly.