Stage set for counting of votes tomorrow

Stage set for counting of votes tomorrow

Agency News

New Delhi, May 22 : After a lengthy seven-phase Lok Sabha poll that lasted for more than a month, all eyes are now riveted on the counting of votes that will be taken up on Thursday morning.

Election Commission of India (ECI) is monitoring all preparations at all the centres where counting of votes for the 542 Lok Sabha seats and four State assemblies – Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha -- will be held from May 23 morning.

District Magistrates and all the concerned officials are pouring over minute details of arrangements, including security measures, for the smooth conduct of the counting of votes. In accordance with the instructions of the ECI, five polling stations will be selected on a random basis for audit and verification of the VVPAT slips. The process of VVPAT verification may take four to five hours.

“This time around all results will be available on real time basis on the website of the Election Commission and on the app of Voter Helpline. On the counting day, multi-tier security arrangements are being made with the deployment of Central police forces as well,” sources in the Election Commission said. Strong rooms where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) have been kept are under strict security cover. The EC had pressed in service nearly 55 lakh EVMs for 2019 elections.

The sources said that mock drills have already been carried out and all necessary training has been given to the counting personnel in the districts who will be supervised by the Assistant Returning Officers.

With nearly a million polling stations across the country and a registered base of 91 crore electors, elections to the 17th Lok Sabha are the biggest democratic exercise in the world. The total number of electors represented an increase of 7.5 crores as compared to 2014 elections.

For the first time in the 2019 general election, nearly 1.49 lakh complaints were filed by citizens as part of the c-VIGIL initiative of the Commission. The sources said that about 78 per cent of these complaints were found to be correct and prompt action within 100 minutes was taken in all the cases, many of whom impinged on violation of secrecy of casting of votes by electors. UNI