Bhubaneswar, Oct 9 (PTI) The process of filing of nomination for the by-elections to Balasore Sadar and Tirtol Assembly seats in Odisha scheduled to be held on November 3 began on Friday following the formal notification.
As per the notification, the nomination filing process will continue till October 16.
The nominations will be scrutinised on October 17 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is October 19, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) S K Lohani said.
Polling will be held from 7 AM to 6 PM on November 3 in strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols, he said adding the votes will be counted on November 10 and the entire process will be completed by November 12.
By-elections in two Assembly constituencies have been necessitated following the demise of sitting BJP MLA of Balasore Sadar, Madan Mohan Dutta and BJD legislator in Tirtol, Bishnu Charan Das.
The EC has issued guidelines for the conduct of the by-elections in view of the pandemic.
Only two persons and two vehicles can accompany a candidate during the latter's visit to the election office to file the nomination. This will be in a hall or in a spacious place where social distancing can be maintained and use of hand sanitizers and masks are mandatory, the CEO said.
Voters aged above 80 years, people with disabilities and Covid-19 suspected or infected people who are in quarantine can opt for postal ballot facility.
The process to avail postal ballot facility began on Friday itself and will continue till October 14, he said.
A booth level officer (BLO) will visit the houses of the voterss in the polling station area and deliver 12-D form.
If the voter opts for postal ballot, the BLO will collect the filled-in form 12-D from the person within five days of the notification and deposit it with the returning officer (RO).
The RO in turn will deploy a polling team for delivery and collection of the postal ballot on a pre-informed date and its deposit with him.
A maximum of five people, including the candidate concerned, will be allowed for door to door campaign. The district election officers (DEO) will pre-identify some places where public meetings or rallies can be held while adhering to social distancing norms.
The number of booths has been increased to avoid large gatherings and only 1000 voters are allowed to exercise their franchise in a single one.
Officers will be deployed outside the polling booth, conduct thermal screening and provide mask, gloves and hand sanitizerw to the voters, Lohani said adding that it is mandatory for the electors to wear gloves while pressing the button on the electronic voting machine.
If a voter records high body temperature above the prescribed limit, the person will be facilitated to vote in the last hour of polling. PTI SKN KK KK KK