Rahul Dravid state election icon; new initiatives for K’taka assembly polls

Bengaluru: Cricketer Rahul Dravid as the state election icon, disabled government employees as polling staff and all women polling stations are among the slew of new initiatives taken up by the state electoral authorities for the May 12 assembly elections in Karnataka.

"Rahul Dravid will be the state election icon," Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters in Bengaluru.

Yograj Bhat, film and music director, is making a title song, which will be 2018 "Karnataka Election Anthem" and it will get released in a week's time.

"Some of the persons with disabilities — employees of  the government, will be participating in certain selected polling station as polling staff for the first time… we are  encouraging them" Kumar said.

He said "450 all women polling stations will be set up. Efforts are on for four in urban constituencies and one in rural constituencies."

The Election Commission of India on Tuesday announced a single phase poll for the 224-member Karnataka Legislative Assembly on May 12.

Counting of votes will be taken up on May 15.

Officials said IT and other initiatives taken by the CEO office for the elections include GPS based vehicle tracking of flying squads, GIS enabled complete database of polling station and digital maps, Digital Atlas of all polling station areas and assembly constituencies.

For persons with disability, complete mapping of voters  and their requirements and making available all required  facilities including wheel chair booking would done, they said.

Transfer facilitation and certification system for  ensuring code of conduct on transfer and posting of officers involved in elections, SMS based Polling Station Access, App Based Polling Station Access and navigation, Queue status facility on poll day for a few polling stations with higher voter population are among the other initiatives.

Web casting of 3,000 to 6,000 polling stations based on  feasibility and sensitivity will be done, Kumar said, adding  that work was on towards integration of election monitoring  facilities under one platform.

There will also be GIS based tracking and swift intervention on critical complaints, he added.

The CEO office is also conducting a special drive to register excluded groups like primitive tribes and nomadic Tribes.

Some special polling stations with ethnic look in Primitive Tribal Areas will be established on a pilot basis, he said.

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