The state’s election commission is also looking at bringing in postal votes for the elderly and for persons with disabilities.

Teekaram Meena in a maroon shirt stands against a blue backgroundTeekaram Meena / Facebook
news Election Saturday, December 26, 2020 - 08:53

Kerala’s Assembly elections, to be held early next year, are likely to be conducted in two phases. The state’s Chief Electoral Officer Teekaram Meena told TNM that a decision is yet to be taken, although the suggestion for a two-phase election was raised at a meeting with district collectors.  

“When I discussed with the district collectors, they indicated that it would be good if the elections are held in two phases as a lot of manpower will be required for holding elections in a single phase, which is difficult this time (because of the COVID-19 pandemic). Some districts don’t have adequate manpower and if conducted in two phases, polling officials from the first phase can be reassigned in the second phase,” Meena said.

Usually, elections in Kerala are held in a single phase. However, the recently concluded Local Body Polls, held this month, was conducted in three phases because of the pandemic. 

The Assembly polls will be held in May as the tenure of the incumbent government ends on June 1. The current Left Democratic Front government led by Pinarayi Viajan assumed office on May 25, 2016.

Postal votes 

Postal votes will also be introduced for the elderly (those above 80) and for persons with disabilities, Teekaram Meena added. 

“We will allow elderly people who are above eighty and for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) to cast postal votes. This is optional, not mandatory. Those who opt for postal votes have to inform us,” Meena said.

A team of the Election Commission, Meena said, will come at any time to assess the situation, and will have discussions with political parties, collectors, police officials and others.

Tamil Nadu, Assam, Bengal and Puducherry will all go to polls next year, along with Kerala. 

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