BHUBANESWAR: Election Commission officials have become cautious after a glitch in Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) marred first phase polls.
According to sources, technical glitches delayed polling process in several places for more than an hour. Voting was delayed by nearly an hour in Jeypore Municipality, Jodi village under Meerabali panchayat and Bhakurguda under Kottapeta panchayat in Rayagada district as the EVMs were found defunct, sources added. Election Commission officials stated that altogether 169 VVPATs and 62 ballot units and 65 control units of EVMs had to be replaced.
Accordingly, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar has asked all officials to take all necessary measures to counter the issue effectively in the remaining three phases of elections to be held in the State on April 18, 23 and 29.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer for Odisha, Raghuram R Iyer said technical glitches in EVMs occur most of the time due to their improper handling. To avoid this, all polling personnel have been imparted three rounds of training and have also been provided materials containing information regarding proper handling of these voting machines, he added.
Stating that the glitches in EVMs during Phase I were very negligible, Iyer said “the failure of EVMs during elections is generally around 3.5 pc and this time it was less than 1 per cent.”
The Joint CEO said Election Commission has appointed one section officer for 10 polling stations. “Each of these officers are provided with a spare EVM-VVPAT set which is used in booths where the voting machine fail to function,” he said.