26. Appointment of presiding officers for polling stations.-
(1) The 2[district election officer] shall appoint a presiding officer for each polling station and such polling officer or officers as he thinks necessary, but he shall not appoint any person who has been employed by or on behalf of, or has been otherwise working for, a candidate in or about the election:
Provided that if a polling officer is absent from the polling station, the presiding officer may appoint any person who is present at the polling station other than a person who has been employed by or on behalf of, or has been otherwise working for, a candidate in or about the election, to be the polling officer during the absence of the former officer, and inform the 2[district election officer] accordingly:
3[Provided further that nothing in this sub-section shall prevent that 2[district election officer] from appointing the same person to be the presiding officer for more than one polling station in the same premises.]
(2) A polling officer shall, if so directed by the presiding officer, perform all or any of the functions of a presiding officer under this Act or any rules or orders made thereunder.
(3) If the presiding officer, owing to illness or other unavoidable cause, is obliged to absent himself from the polling station, his functions shall be performed by such polling officer as has been previously authorised by the 2[district election officer] to perform such functions during any such absence.
(4) References in this Act to the presiding officer shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be deemed to include any person performing any function which he is authorised to perform under sub-section (2) or sub-section (3), as the case may be.
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