Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer Issues Guidelines For Voters As May 7 Polling Nears - Vibes Of India

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Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer Issues Guidelines For Voters As May 7 Polling Nears

| Updated: May 5, 2024 15:16

Polling for 25 Lok Sabha seats, excluding Surat, and 5 seats of Legislative Assembly Bye-Elections in Gujarat is scheduled to be conducted on May 7.

The electoral machinery has made comprehensive arrangements to ensure the smooth conduct of polling.

P Bharathi, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Gujarat, affirmed that the commissioning of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines had been successfully completed. Distribution of voter information slips had also been completed. The election administration of the state was fully committed to ensuring that the entire voting process is a memorable and pleasant experience for each voter, she said.

The office of the CEO conducted an intensive voter awareness drive spanning 15 days to educate and sensitise people about the importance of voting, culminating with the ‘Run for Vote’ organised by all District Election Officers (DEOs) across the state on May 5.

To address the potential challenges posed by heat waves during the polling, the DEOs have been instructed to implement necessary actions to ensure voter comfort and safety. Polling booths across the state will be equipped with essential amenities like drinking water, seating arrangements, adequate shade, and baby care centres.

Additionally, medical kits and first aid supplies will be readily available at all polling stations. A dedicated medical team, accompanied by a Sector Officer, will also be present to administer emergency treatment to individuals affected by sunstroke.

Furthermore, all government health centres will be put on standby mode, along with ambulance services, to address any medical emergencies effectively.

CEO Bharathi urged voters are urged to carry a water bottle and stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. Additionally, wearing thin and light-colored cotton clothing has also been advised.

Furthermore, voters are encouraged to cast their votes early in the morning, if feasible, to avoid exposure to peak temperatures.

The International Election Visitors Program (IEVP) stands as a flagship initiative by the Election Commission of India, fostering international cooperation with Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of other nations and international organisations. IEVP aims to acquaint these bodies with India’s electoral processes, sharing best practices and ICT utilisation to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections.

In line with this objective, delegations from Australia, Fiji, Kyrgyz Republic, Madagascar, and Russia are scheduled to visit Gujarat State from 05.05.2024 to 08.05.2024. During their visit, the delegation will tour dispatching centres for polling staff and various polling stations to observe mock polls and actual voting processes.

As part of their oversight on election expenditure, 756 Flying Squads and 1,203 Static Surveillance Teams have been actively engaged in monitoring activities in the state. Through their efforts, articles valued at Rs. 928.65 crore have been seized, comprising Rs. 8.12 crore in cash, approximately 5.75 lakh litres of liquor worth Rs 17.36 crore, 212.62 kg of gold and silver valued at Rs 118.72 crore, 862.10 kg of prohibited intoxicants amounting to Rs 703.47 crore, and other items such as motorcars, motorcycles, cigarettes, lighters, and inedible jaggery valued at Rs 80.97 crore.

From March 16, 2024, to May 4, 2024, 4,581 complaints concerning the violation of the Model Code of Conduct were reported through the c-VIGIL mobile app. All these complaints have been promptly addressed following the guidelines provided by the Election Commission of India.

Furthermore, 14,760 complaints were registered on the National Grievance Services Portal during the same period. Among these, 10,608 were related to the Election Photo Identity Card (EPIC), 1,035 were related to the electoral roll, 708 were related to voter slips, and 2,409 were categorised as other complaints. Additionally, 778 complaints were received through the Help Line Number of the Control Room set up at the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer.

All these complaints, including those received through various channels, such as 28 through media, 102 by political parties via post and email, and 92 through the Election Commission of India, as well as 594 other complaints, have been diligently addressed in accordance with the prescribed guidelines by the Election Commission of India.

Bharathi announced that election campaigning for the general elections and assembly bye-elections will cease from 6 pm on May 5 in accordance with Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act), which mandates the cessation of campaigning during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll.

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