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Election Day communication gets a boost

Satellite phones, special runners for shadow zones
02:39 AM May 25, 2024 IST | SHABIR IBN YUSUF
election day communication gets a boost
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The Lok Sabha seat is gearing up for polling with stringent security measures in place where 18,36,576 voters of the constituency are eligible to exercise their franchise.

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Security forces, including paramilitary personnel and local Police, have been deployed in large numbers to ensure peace and prevent any untoward incidents during the polling process.

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In addition to Police presence, the polling stations in sensitive areas, especially those near border regions and places with a history of unrest, will have an extra layer of security.

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A total of 19 Border Polling Stations in the Rajouri and Poonch districts of the Pir Panjal region will receive special attention to safeguard the voting process.

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To bolster security, all polling stations will be equipped with CCTV cameras for live webcasting.

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These cameras will feed live footage to control rooms established at district levels and the Chief Electoral Officer's office.

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The placement of cameras has been done meticulously to ensure that these do not compromise the secrecy of the vote.

In areas with communication challenges like remote or mountainous regions, satellite phones, wireless sets, and special runners have been arranged to maintain constant communication and quick response capabilities.

Each polling station is equipped with Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) like drinking water, electricity, toilets, ramps, furniture, and sheds.

Wheelchairs will be provided, and ballot units will include a list of candidates in Braille script.

Separate queues will be arranged for senior citizens and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), and a voter help desk, manned by the Booth Level Officer (BLO), will be available for assistance.

Special polling stations include 17 pink polling stations managed by women, 15 by PwDs, and eight by youths.

A total of 15 green polling stations have also been established to promote environmental awareness.

These special polling stations aim to encourage the participation of women, PwDs, first-time voters, and youth.

All voters have been provided with voter information slips detailing polling station names, dates and times of voting, serial numbers in the voter list, full names, and QR codes, but not photographs.

These slips are not valid as proof of identity.

Acceptable identification documents include Aadhaar Card, MGNREGA Job Card, bank or post office passbooks with photographs, health insurance smart cards, driving licenses, PAN cards, passports, pension documents with photographs, service identity cards, official identity cards for MPs, MLAs, MLCs, and Unique Disability ID (UDID) cards.

The Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme have been instrumental in promoting voter education and participation.

The SVEEP activities included messages in print, electronic, and social media, street plays, and the involvement of social media influencers and icons.

These efforts are expected to result in higher voter turnout compared to the last Lok Sabha election.

Home voting will be available for voters above 85 years of age and those with over 40 percent disability who have applied for it.

All polling stations in Anantnag-Rajouri will have CCTV cameras for live webcasting to control rooms at district and CEO offices.

Special polling stations have been established for migrant voters from the Kashmir division, including 21 in Jammu, four in Delhi, and one in Udhampur.

Voter lists for these stations are available with the BLOs.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is committed to providing basic facilities and enhancing voter experience at all polling stations, urging voters to participate in the world’s largest democracy’s biggest festival.

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