The three-phase election in Bihar will be held on October 28, November 3, and November 7, with the first mass elections in the country amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Election Commission on Friday announced a strict COVID-19 protocol for parties and voters to ensure that the voting exercise is safe and smooth.
Here's how the Assembly elections in Bihar will be different than any other elections we've seen so far:
* The voting time has been extended by one hour. Now, voting will take place from 7 am to 6 pm. Earlier it used to be between 7 am and 5 pm. However, this will not be applicable in Maoism affected areas.
* District election officials will identify grounds for physical campaigning and will also ensure that circles are marked on the ground to follow social distancing.
* In order to take care of social distancing, the number of polling stations has been cut by up to 1,000. This will increase the number of polling stations in 2015 elections from 65,337 to 1 lakh in 2020.
* COVID-19 patients who are quarantined will be able to vote on the last day of polling, at their respective polling stations, under the supervision of health officials. This is already extended to them in addition to the postal facility option.