Kerala State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to conduct local body elections in the state in December of this year. Originally due in November, the elections were deferred due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
In a press conference on Friday, Kerala State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran said that the elections will be held in three phases starting December 8.
He told media outlets, “In the first phase, local bodies in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Pathanamthitta and Idukki will go to polls on December 8. Polls in Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad will be held during the second phase on December 10.”
“The third and final phase will be held on December 14 when elections will be held in Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargod. The results will be announced on December 16,” V Bhaskaran added.
A total of 2.71 crores voters are expected to take part in the election process to 1,199 local bodies, for which elections are due. Masks, gloves and hand sanitizers will be mandatory for all voters during these elections in Kerala. Authorities have decided 7 am to 6 pm as the time for voting.
The Kerala State Election Commission will issue a notification on November 12 in this regard.
Candidates contesting the local body elections can file nominations till November 19. The nominations will be scrutinized on November 20 and candidates can withdraw nominations till November 23.
Voters who test positive for Covid-19 or those in quarantine can use the postal ballot facility to cast their votes. However, the voters must apply at least three days ahead of polling day to avail of this facility.
The Kerala State Election Commission is also considering the provision of PPE kits to Covid-19 patients if they test positive on the eve of the local body elections.
If a candidate tests positive for coronavirus, he/she must refrain from making public appearances and adhere to guidelines, the state election commission said.