Dispatch of poll parties to polling stations across 59 assembly constituencies in the State commenced today.
Chief Electoral Officer FR Kharkongor informed that 974 polling teams were dispatched today. Till 9:30 pm, 893 polling teams reached their respective polling stations, he added.
In South Garo Hills, the first polling party to leave early morning is the team going to Rongcheng Polling Station where they will need to trek 8 km to reach the polling station from the last motorable point, he informed.
“Polling teams trekked down steep mountain paths, crossed muddy rivers, transcended geographical barriers and difficult terrains and in some areas the polling parties had to use ropeways and boats,” he said.
A polling team on a ‘Boat of Democracy’ reached Kamsing polling station in Amlarem Sub-Division where only 35 voters will exercise their franchise. Some polling parties ingeniously even used sturdy traditional Khasi baskets Khohs to carry polling materials and EVMs in a combined effort to ensure that “No voter is left behind.”
A team of Forest Wild Life Division has also been deployed to elephant infested area of Nongnah in South West Khasi Hills district to ensure smooth movement of polling officials, he said.
More than 2000 polling stations will be under webcast and all vehicles carrying EVMs are being GPS tracked. “We are using technology to quite an extent for monitoring the movement and overall monitoring of the election process,” he added.
According to the CEO, of the 3,419 polling booths of the state, 640 are identified as ‘vulnerable’, 323 are ‘critical’ and 84 are both.
As many as 119 companies of Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) have been deployed across the state ahead of the February 27 assembly elections.
A total of 53 observers – 20 general observers, 21 expenditure observers and 12 police observers – are on the job to ensure that the elections are free, fair and peaceful, the CEO said.
Over 21 lakh people will be eligible to elect their representatives from 369 candidates including 36 women.
It may be mentioned that polling for the Sohiong Assembly Constituency in East Khasi Hills (EKH), stands adjourned after the demise of former state home minister and a candidate of the United Democratic Party for the constituency, HDR Lyngdoh.
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