In a first, COVID-19 patients and those in quarantine will be allowed to vote through the postal ballot facility in Kerala's local body election. Special polling teams will carry application and declaration forms as well as the postal ballots for coronavirus patients, who will be categorised as "special voters".
The local body elections in the state will take place in three phases on December 8, 10 and 14.
As of November 29, a total of 24,621 "special voters" have been listed by the state's election commission for the polls. The list will be updated daily.
"The list will be prepared 10 days prior to the voting day and will be revised everyday till 3 pm of the day before voting," Kerala's Election Commissioner, V Bhaskaran, said on Monday.
Mr Bhaskaran said the teams -- which comprise of a special polling officer, a polling assistant and a police officer -- will go to the "special voters, whether it be their homes or COVID-19 Frontline Treatment Centres or hospitals".
"The declaration form will have to be signed by the concerned voter before the Special Polling Officer, and that will be attested by the officer as well. Subsequently the postal ballot will be handed over, that can be taken inside and the vote can be cast in privacy and handed in an envelope to the electoral officer," he explained.
Kerala has reported a total of nearly 6 lakh cases, including over 2200 deaths.
The Election Commission successfully organised the Bihar assembly election amid the raging coronavirus pandemic recently. It had described the exercise as a leap of faith.
"When you use the term leap of faith, you don't use it as some kind of a dramatic dialogue. A lot of preparation had undergone behind it. In any election, we work as hard as required. But in this kind of elections amid COVID-19, this became a more herculean and challenging task," Sunil Arora, the Chief Election Commissioner, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
He had also said that the panel will organise polls with Covid precautions in the future.