Local body polls: Govt nod unlikely for proxy vote

Local body polls: Govt nod unlikely for proxy vote

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is unlikely to accept the state Election Commission's recommendation to allow proxy vote for COVID-19 patients and those in quarantine during the upcoming local body polls.

The Commission had shot off a missive to the government one month ago with three recommendations, including the proxy vote provision, over conducting the local body polls amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The commission had mooted the proxy vote provision in which COVID-19 patients or those in quarantine can give consent letter to close relatives to vote on their behalf.

The CPM is not in favour of the proxy vote provision. Therefore, the state government is also not likely to consider this recommendation.

However, the government is likely to consider the other proposal of postal ballots for those affected due to the pandemic. There is no objection towards allowing postal ballots and discussions have been initiated on this.

The Election Commission had also sought to increase the polling time.

The local body polls are usually held from 7am to 5pm. This could be increased to 6pm, akin to the Assembly or Lok Sabha polls. However, laws would have to be amended to give powers to the Election Commission to extend the polling time. This is also under the government’s consideration.

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