The Election Commission of India (ECI) has arranged facilities to ensure smooth polling for the Assembly election, which is held in a single phase for all the 234 constituencies on Tuesday. For the first time, a COVID-19 kit is being also given along with EVMs, VVPATs and stationary kits to all polling stations. This kit would have sanitisers, facemasks, face shields and gloves for election staff deployed at polling booths.
Toilets and drinking water facilities for voters would be ensured at the polling booths. In larger polling stations that have more than four or five polling booths, chairs and shamiana have been provided. For differently-abled persons, wheelchairs would be placed and ramps have been setup at all the polling stations. “Even if the steps are two feet high, ramps have been setup,” said a polling official in Perambur.
There were minor complaints. At a polling booth in Kolathur, there were complaints from officials that the fans there were not working.
In some polling booths, confusions prevailed about following COVID protocol, as the poll officials said they were awaiting clear instructions from the ECI on handling COVID-19 patients. “We were not informed clearly as to how COVID patients should be identified. Should mere body temperature be taken as yardstick for identifying them, or should COVID certificate should be sought from the voters is a big question,” said a poll official from Kolathur.