BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary. (File image)

The Assam State Election Commission has decided to extend the voting time of the Bodoland Autonomous Council (BTC) elections by one hour which is scheduled to be held on December 7 and 10.

Elections will be held by adhering to COVID-19 safety norm.

State Election Commissioner (SEC) Alok Kumar said for the first time in local body polls in the State, photo electoral rolls will be used for better identification of the voters.

“We are trying to upgrade the election process as close as possible to the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” Assam Tribune quoted Kumar as saying.

He said the poll panel has adopted the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India for holding the Bihar Assembly polls by adhering to the COVID-19 protocol.

Kumar said body temperature of every voter would be checked and social distancing would be maintained in the queues of voters.

The SEC said that any voter showing body temperature higher than normal would be asked to come again in the last hour of polls.

Kumar said that as the process of measuring body temperature and maintaining social distancing in the voter queues would take some time, the Commission has decided to extend the voting time by an hour.

Normally, polling is held between 8 am and 4 pm. But this time, polling will start at 7:30 am and conclude at 4:30 pm.

However, any voter, who enters the compound of the polling station before 4:30 pm, will be allowed to cast vote even if polling has to be carried on till late in the evening.

All polling personnel have been asked to complete the preparations by the previous night as voting will start early.

The SEC said the counting of votes would take place from 8 am on December 12.

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