THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the counting of votes to take place on Thursday, Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena has indicated that political parties and their supporters will have to wait longer than usual to get the final poll results.
According to him, it might take 9-10 hours to come out with a final picture. As many as 140 counting centres have been set up in 29 counting locations in the state. In addition to this, one or two rooms have especially been set up at each LS constituency for the counting of postal ballots.
“Necessary arrangements have been made for the counting day. The counting of votes will start at 8 am. Postal ballots will be counted first,” said Meena. “Along with that, scanning of service votes received via Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) will also take place. It has also been decided to consider the postal ballots received till 8 am on the counting day,” he said.
According to the CEO, 14 counting tables will be set up at each centre. In the case of postal ballots, there will be four counting tables. Meena said the counting tables could be increased by the officers concerned ‘as and when the situation demands’, subject to the permission of the Election Commission.
“Before the counting of votes, it will be ensured that the seals of control units, including pink paper seal, outer paper seal, special tag and green paper seal, are intact. It will be only after completing the counting of EVMs, related proceedings and declaration of one round result that the counting of next round of EVMs will be started,” said Meena.
The counting of VVPAT slips will commence soon after the counting of EVM votes. For this, separate counting tables will also be set up at the counting booths.
In the case of counting of VVPAT slips, the CEO said other than the mandatory counting at five booths each from an assembly segment of an LS constituency, VVPAT slips could also be counted on occasions in which, display of a control unit malfunctions, those polling booths where the EC had ordered counting of VVPAT slips and in those booths where the election agent or counting agent demands the same and the returning officer is convinced.
Repolls: CPM comes out against Election Commission
T’Puram: The CPM has come out against the Election Commission’s decision to hold repolling in three more booths in Kasaragod. CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the Election Commission seems to be under pressure from several corners which made them order a repoll. Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, Kodiyeri criticised the Commission for lack of caution displayed in the electoral process. Initially, repolling was announced in four booths. Later, the EC announced repolls in three more booths. This could have been notified together, which shows the Commission was working under duress. However, the Left front is always prepared to face elections whenever there is a repoll, Kodiyeri said.
‘Repolling decision not taken in haste’
CEO Teeka Ram Meena said the repolling declaration has not been taken in haste.He dismissed the allegation that the decision was taken under pressure and added it was taken after considering several complaints