Tamil Nadu is hours ahead of the crucial assembly polls and after the long stretch of the campaigns came to an end on Sunday, it's time for the voters to speak and elect who they wish would rule the state for the next five years. The stage is all set for the polls as the state is gearing up for the first legislative election since the demise of political giants Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa.
Tamil Nadu is facing five fronted race towards the reign and hours ahead of the polls, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo had addressed the media on Monday about the polling arrangements and the personnel involved in the electoral process. If you are an eligible voter in Tamil Nadu, here are the things that you should know before casting your votes.
In the wake of the COVID-19 resurgence, the voters are directed to wear face masks and adhere to the social distancing protocols and guidelines at the polling stations. They have to sanitize their hands before entering the booths. The polling would begin at 7 am on Tuesday and it will end at 7 pm and the last one hour of polling would be for the Corona patients. While addressing the media, Satyabrata Sahoo said that Tamil Nadu has 537 critical polling stations and 10,813 vulnerable polling stations.
He said that the number of vulnerable booths may undergo some last-minute changes based on the ground situation in the locality of the polling station. According to Sahoo, Tamil Nadu has 6,28,69,995 voters who are eligible to cast their votes on Tuesday of which men account for 3,09,23,651 and women account for 3,19,39,112. Around 7,192 voters in Tamil Nadu are transgender. 88, 937 polling stations have been installed across the state and a total of 4,17,521 personnel will be involved in the electoral process.
The state has 1,29,165 ballot units ready for Tuesday and 91,180 each of control units and VVPAT machines. Besides polling officials, the Election Commission of India has also engaged 1,58,263 police officials and non-police officers for ensuring a peaceful and smooth election in the state. As per Election Commission's instructions, webcasting of polling has been arranged in 46, 203 polling stations and around 8,014 micro-observers have been appointed by the commission to observe the polling in the state.
Sahoo further said that the voters can confirm their polling stations by calling in to the '1950' helpline after prefixing the STD code of their place. According to reports, the Election Commission has unveiled arrangements to ensure that the COVID-19 patients would get a chance to cast their votes. The voters in Tamil Nadu who are in isolation due to COVID-19 can go to the polling booth between 6 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday and they can cast their votes.
The polling officers at the polling stations were given with PPE kits and disinfectants and both the polling officers and a COVID-19 positive voter must wear the PPEs at the polling stations. The polling officers are trained adequately on how to dispose the biomedical waste from the stations including masks, face shields, and PPE kits. The temperature checks will be also be done during the polling and the voters who have a fever have been asked to come between 6 pm and 7 pm to vote.