ECI issues norms for auxiliary booths

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued guidelines for the establishment of more than 15,000 auxiliary polling booths for the upcoming Assembly elections in the State.

There will be 15,730 auxiliary booths in all, taking the total number of booths to 40,771 this time. Auxiliary stations will be accommodated, as far as possible, in the same building as the main polling booths. If that is not possible, the auxiliary booths will be arranged in the same compound within 200-metre radius of the main station, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena said on Friday.

In selecting spaces for the auxiliary booths, government buildings will be given priority. If they are unavailable, privately-owned buildings will be rented for the purpose. Temporary structures could also be erected for the purpose, Mr. Meena said.

If private buildings were selected, the District Collectors should ensure that they were free of political links, he said. The District Collectors should discuss the establishment of the auxiliary facilities with the political parties and give wide publicity, he said.

The ECI has published the design of temporary structures which will be disseminated among the Collectors. The Collectors have also been directed to submit their reports on auxiliary polling booths within a week.

The auxiliary booths will have all amenities, including ramps, drinking water and electricity supply. The number of auxiliary booths has risen this time due to the ECI decision to keep the maximum number of voters per booth at 1,000 given the COVID-19 situation.

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