New Delhi, June 1: Days after a fresh controversy erupted over the alleged mismatch between the number of votes cast and the EVM vote count, in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, the Election Commission on Saturday clarified that the reports are "incorrect interference to find Ghost voters when there are none".
"The provisional voter turnout data reported on Election Commission website is only the tentative number of voters and not the final numbers. Therefore it is incorrect inference to find ghost voters when there was none,", the Commission said in a statement.A section of media reported that there are 'discrepancies in 373 constituencies, which went to polls in the first four phases of the election'.
Based on the data shared by the Commission, they found surplus votes more than polled in at least 373 constituencies of Tamil Nadu, Bihar, UP and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Election Commission, however, clarified, "In earlier elections, it used to take months to collect such authenticated election data from all the returning officers. Even in 2014, it took between two to three months after the declaration of results to collect and collate such data in authenticated form. Due to the innovative IT initiatives taken by the Commission this time, the final data on votes counted has been made available within a few days of declaration of results."
The commission added that provisional number of general voters’ turnout is compiled and uploaded on the Commission's website based on the polling station wise tentative voter turnout data reported by the presiding officers, with male/female voter breakup, added together to get the PC-wise provisional voter turnout."All these figures are provisional, based on estimates which are subject to change as is made clear from the disclaimer on the website that 'the data is estimated and subject to change," the Commission said.
It also said this provisional voter turnout data is made available by Returning Officers on regular intervals, which is collated by Chief Electoral Officers and the Commission on the web site for wider dissemination and to ensure transparency in information dissemination."For General Elections 2019, the Commission has already directed all returning officers on March 26 March 2019 to send the Index Cards within 15 days of the declaration of the result," the poll body said.
The reconciliation of voters’ data for all parliamentary constituencies have been completed in all states and the Index Forms of all 542 PCs are expected to reach shortly, which after compilation, shall be immediately be made public by the Election Commission.
The commission has now reasoned that the voting percentage data put out by it on its website was only provisional and was thus subject to change. "The provisional voter turnout data reported on ECI website is only the tentative number of voters and not the final numbers," it said.
What this means is that the EC is saying the figures it had put as "final voter turnout" was actually provisional data. As a result, since the voter turnout data was not final, a mismatch with votes counted on EVM was natural to occur. The Commission has said that data on the final voter turnout will be released soon.Quoting media reports, Congress also on Friday demanded that the commission must explain the alleged discrepancies.
"Elections are one chance that people have to hold governments accountable, people should have confidence in the system. There has been a consistent mismatch between the number of votes cast and the EVM vote count, the Election Commission must explain these discrepancies,"it had tweeted. (UNI)