Ahead of the Bihar election and the by-election on the vacant Rajya Sabha seat, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday issued the broad guidelines for the conduct of the election.

With the outbreak of the pandemic, the ECI had sought suggestions of the National/State Political Parties for the conduct of elections.

As per the guidelines, a maximum of 1,000 voters can be present at any polling booth at a time, and every voter’s body temperature will be checked before the person is allowed to enter the booth.

Further, the voters whose body temperature is found to be more than the safe threshold set by the Health Ministry will be checked twice, and if the result remains the same, then they will be asked to visit again in the last hour of polling.

“At the last hour of poll, such electors shall be facilitated voting, strictly following COVID-19 related preventive measures,” the Election Commission said in its latest guidelines.

The Commission has revised the norms of number of persons accompanying the candidate and number of vehicles at the time of nomination. It has also created optional facility to fill the nomination form and the affidavit online and submission of the same, after taking print, before the RO concerned.

For the first time, the candidates will have the option to deposit security amount for contesting the elections online. Keeping the containment guidelines in view, the Commission has limited the number of persons including candidate for door to door campaign to five.

Public meeting and road shows shall be permissible with suitable instructions subject to containment instructions issued by the MHA/State.

Face Mask, Sanitizer, Thermal scanners, gloves, face shield and PPE kits shall be used during the electoral process ensuring social distancing norms. Hand gloves shall be provided to all the electors for signing on the voter register and pressing button of EVM for voting.

“The Chief Electoral Officers of concerned States/UTs, shall make comprehensive State/District & AC election plans regarding arrangement and preventive measures following these guidelines taking local conditions into account. These plans will be prepared in consultation with Nodal Officer for COVID-19 in their respective States/UTs,” said the Election Commission in a statement.