Assembly polls 2022: EC may increase number of booths in view of pandemic | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The five state polls coming up next year, for which the Election Commission held the first preparatory meeting on Wednesday, may see polling booths increase by nearly 25,000 in UP, 11,000 in Punjab, 2,160 in Uttarakhand and 262 in Manipur, according to early estimates. The rise is on account of EC’s move to cut voters per polling station to around 1,200 from the usual 1,600 to maintain social distancing in view of the Covid pandemic.
EC sources clarified that the figures cited above are provisional, based on suggestions received by it during internal discussions. They are based on a formula that seeks to work out the number of polling stations with the 1,200-voters cap per polling station and the overall turnout at the last Lok Sabha and assembly poll in the state concerned.
“The final figures may be different based on any future change in the Covid situation. EC is right now only starting with advance planning for a smooth conduct of polls despite Covid concerns,” an EC functionary told TOI.
In the last Lok Sabha poll, UP had approximately 1.62 lakh polling stations, Uttarakhand 11,200, Punjab 23,000, Manipur 2,900 and Goa 1,660.
At the review meeting chaired by chief election commissioner Sushil Chandra with election commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey and attended by chief electoral officers of the five poll-bound states of UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, the CEC emphasised on the need to ensure purity of electoral rolls and expedite disposal of voter registration applications.
Chandra called for early identification of manpower needed for the polls so that the state concerned can be told to ensure their vaccination in time for the polls. Covid mitigation plan, rationalization of polling stations and early planning of postal ballots to be used by senior citizens and persons with disabilities, etc, were the other issues discussed.
Chandra told the CEOs said election planning needs to have a voter-centric approach and participative decision-making involving all stakeholders.
Election commissioner Pandey asked the CEOs to focus on filling up infrastructure gaps and logistics requirements, updation and purification of electoral rolls and an extensive voter education and empowerment outreach program.
The five state CEOs gave a detailed presentation on health of electoral roll, availability of budget, manpower resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications.





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