The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday held a review meeting on advance planning for forthcoming elections with the Chief Electoral Officers of the five states namely Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
"The preliminary meeting held was focussed on various thematic issues including Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) at the polling stations, ease of registration arrangements for voter facilitation, electoral roll, timely resolution of grievances, arrangements of EVMs/VVPATs, postal ballot facility for senior citizens and PwDs, COVID Mitigation plan, training of polling staff and extensive voter outreach amongst others," the ECI said in a statement.
Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra in his address said that transparency and impartiality are the hallmarks of the election process.
Chandra said: "Issues and challenges may be different in each state, but election planning needs to have a voter-centric approach and participative decision making involving all stakeholders."
During his address, the CEC stressed on the significance of the purity of the electoral roll and asked the CEOs for expeditious redressal of all pending applications with regard to voter registration. He also emphasised on the need for rationalization of polling stations keeping in view the COVID-19 pandemic and reiterated the need to have basic facilities and infrastructure in all polling stations.
Chandra mentioned that all logistical challenges in the implementation of the postal ballot facilities to senior citizens and persons with disabilities need to be identified and resolved for its smooth and transparent implementation during the elections.
CEC Chandra while interacting with the CEOs said, "States should learn and adopt innovations and best practices in election management from the poll gone states or other States and UTs.
Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey while interacting with the CEOs emphasized that periodic and comprehensive monitoring on each aspect of election should be done by all the poll going CEOs. He highlighted the need to activate the ground-level election machinery in the five states to start the preparations for the forthcoming elections. He mentioned that CEOs should focus on filling up infrastructure gaps and logistics requirements, updation and purification of electoral rolls and extensive voter education and empowerment outreach program.
The Chief Electoral Officers from the five states gave a detailed presentation on various aspects of the conduct of election including health of electoral roll, availability of budget, manpower resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications, etc. The meeting was also attended by all Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, Deputy Election Commissioner's and other senior officials from the ECI.