With four days left for the first phase of local body polls in Kerala, it was announced that webcasting (broadcasting on internet) will be enabled in 1,850 sensitive booths. State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran said that the decision comes in the wake of a report given by the state police chief in this regard. Kannur district has the most number of sensitive booths at 785, and Pathanamthitta has the least at five. V Bhaskaran also said that in light of the threat of Cyclone Burevi, special attention should be given to voting machines and other polling equipment stored in various centres across the state.
There will be videography in other sensitive booths (where webcasting is not enabled), chosen by district election officials, district police chiefs and city police commissioners. Videos of voters casting their votes will not be taken. At the booths where webcasting or videography are not happening, candidates or political parties may record videos at their own expense, after consulting with district election officials.
V Bhaskaran also instructed that government benefits should not be distributed as part of work or otherwise until elections are over. The commission said that the distribution of widows' pension by candidates and of medicines by ASHA workers may influence voters. The State Election Commission said that private vehicles may be used for campaigning, as long as rules, including COVID-19 protocol, are followed.
The local body elections are being held in three phases, with the first phase on December 8, the second on December 10 and the third on December 14. Polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm and voters should carry a photo identity card recognised by the election commission (voters card, driving license, passport, pan card, etc). The first phase will see the districts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki go to polls. Second phase will include Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad. The final phase on December 14 will include Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode and Malappuram.