BENGALURU: On Thursday, around 1,500 officials will begin the task of counting votes cast for the three Parliamentary Constituencies of Bengaluru. To prepare for this exercise, they have been undergoing training to ensure that they get their calculations right.
On Monday, District Electoral Officer (DEO) and BBMP Commissioner N Manjunath Prasad briefed the media on preparations for results day. He said that counting would commence at 8 am and is likely to end at 12.30 pm. Based on Supreme Court directives, five random voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, from five polling booths chosen by lottery, will be checked to see if they tally with the numbers on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). In case of a mismatch, the VVPAT slips would be counted again for 100 percent accuracy.
“The Election Commission has pointed out times when the two numbers will not show. In one instance, the polling personnel would not have pressed the button to close polling after voting ended, in this case, the EVM will be kept aside and the button will be pressed in line with protocols to show the result. In the other case, if the number of voters differs between the EVM and a form containing statistics of voters, the EVM numbers will be considered final,” he said.
Officials have also asked for additional counting tables for atleast seven assembly constituencies to hasten the counting process. The Election Commission will appoint 14 observers, each in charge of two assembly constituencies, to oversee the counting. The counting will take place at the Mount Carmel College for Bangalore Central, at the St. Joseph’s College for Bangalore North and the SSMRV College, Jayanagar for Bangalore South.
These centers will see tightened security and candidates will be allowed with their agents to enter the counting centers. However, the use of electronic gadgets including phones will be banned.