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Kerala:All preparations for Lok Sabha election completed: Kerala CEO

Kerala:All preparations for Lok Sabha election completed: Kerala CEO

Thiruvananthapuram, Apr 25 (UNI) All preparations for the April 26th Lok Sabha election have been completed in Kerala, Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul said on Thursday.
The second phase of the Lok Sabha elections will start at 7 AM on April 26 across 20 constituencies in Kerala with polling continuing until 6 PM.
There are 2,77,49,159 voters in the state this time, of which 1,43,33,499 are women. Among the total voters, 5,34,394 are first-time voters aged 18-19. Additionally, there are 2,64,232 voters with disabilities and 367 transgender voters in the state.
The Chief Electoral Officer has urged all voters, regardless of age or gender, to participate in the nation-building process by exercising their voting rights. As many as 194 candidates are contesting from 20 constituencies in the state.
All necessary arrangements have been made to ensure smooth voting at the 25,231 polling booths set up across 13,272 locations and to securely transport the voting machines to strong rooms after the elections.
Each booth is staffed by four officials, including the Presiding Officer. There are 437 booths managed solely by women, 31 booths by young individuals under 30, and six booths by staff with disabilities. Additionally, there are 316 ethnic polling booths and 131 theme-based booths.
For voters with disabilities, ramps and wheelchairs have been arranged at the booths. Voting machines with Braille are available for visually impaired voters. Special queue facilities are available for voters with disabilities and elderly voters, along with sign language facilities and transportation for voters with disabilities.
In this Lok Sabha election, 30,238 electronic voting machines are being used in the state. If any machine malfunctions, reserve machines will be dispatched via the respective sector officers.
The machines have been thoroughly tested, randomized in three stages, and mock-polled to ensure their reliability. Mock polling will be conducted again in the presence of representatives from political parties at 6 AM on Friday before starting the actual polling.
About 66,303 security personnel have been deployed to ensure security at polling booths, distribution centers, and strong rooms, and to ensure a smooth voting process.
Rapid action forces are also in place at all police stations to prevent any disruption due to law and order issues on election day. Special security measures have been taken in Maoist-affected areas to ensure that voters can vote without fear.
Webcasting systems have been installed for real-time monitoring in all booths across eight districts and 75 percent of booths in six other districts to ensure a free and fair election.
Cameras have also been placed outside booths in centers with multiple booths to manage crowding and prevent booth capturing, distribution of money, and false voting.
Webcasting is also implemented in problem-prone booths. Live feeds from webcasting are monitored in control rooms set up under the Chief Electoral Officer and Returning Officers of the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies, as well as in strong rooms and counting centers.

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