The Election Commission on Friday asked poll authorities of various states, except Bihar and the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, to rationalise polling stations to ensure that there are not more than 1,500 voters per station.
"As one of the precautionary measures of COVID-19 pandemic, the limit of number of electors assigned to a polling station has been restricted to 1,000 in the state of Bihar and certain constituencies of other states where general and by-elections are due in the near future," the EC letter addressed to chief electoral officers of all states except Bihar and UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, said.
Bihar is going to the polls later this year.
While J-K has a provision for a legislature, the Ladakh UT had no provision for an assembly. At present, Jammu and Kashmir has no assembly and the UT is under Central rule.
The EC had earlier said the number of voters per polling station should not be more than 1,000 as one of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Bihar is the first state where assembly elections are being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EC said to restrict the number of voters per polling station to 1,000,states where polls and bypolls are due have been asked to create auxiliary polling stations of all the main polling stations having more than 1,000 electors.
But for other states where elections or by-elections are not due, the number of voters per polling station would now be 1,500, an EC functionary said explaining the letter.
"The Commission, taking all aspects into consideration, has decided that rationalization/re-organization of polling stations, as the case may be, would be carried out in all states/UTs on the basis of1,500 electors as maximum number for a polling station, " the letter said.
In a statement issued on Friday, the EC said it would hold bypolls to one Lok Sabha seat and 64 assembly seats "around the same time" as the Bihar assembly polls. While the dates have not been announced, the Bihar polls could take place in October-November.
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