Counting of postal ballots and votes in EVMs to be taken up simultaneously
Counting of votes in electronic voting machines and postal ballots of Virudhunagar Lok Sabha and Sattur Assembly constituencies will be taken up simultaneously in the district on May 23.
After completion of the process, counting of votes through VVPATs of five randomly-selected polling booths in each Assembly constituency will be taken up.
Earlier, the Election Commission asked officials to start counting of postal ballots at 8 a.m. and EVM votes at 8.30 a.m. However, with separate halls allocated for counting of postal ballots at the two centres, the Commission allowed them to take up both simultaneously.
“So far, Virudhunagar district has recieved 9,000 postal ballots. Efforts have been taken for special delivery of postal ballots by the Department of Posts on May 23,” an official said.
Votes in the EVMs will be counted Assembly-segment wise. For each round of counting, 14 control units will be taken up for which as many tables have been put up. Each table will have a counting supervisor, micro-observer and an assistant.
The counting of votes will go on for 20 to 23 rounds, said Collector A. Sivagnanam in a statement.
The candidates can appoint 14 counting agents for each of the six Assembly segments of Virudhunagar Lok Sabha constituency and Sattur Assembly seat. An additional agent can be appointed to coordinate with the assistant returning officers (ARO) of each of the segment. The agents should carry a photo-identity card signed by the District Election Officer to enter the counting centre.
The EVM boxes will be brought to the counting halls from the strong rooms. It will be ensured that the seal on the boxes are intact in the presence of the counting agents. Also, their serial numbers will be verified.
After each round of counting, the ARO will verify the numbers, which will be fed into the computer. The votes polled by each candidate will also be written on a blackboard. Only after the process is completed, EVMs for the next round of counting will be brought from the strong rooms.
“In the event of any trouble in the display window, the control units of EVMs that show total votes polled and votes polled by each candidates, the votes of the particular machine will be counted through the votes recorded in its VVPAT machine. But this will be taken up only after counting of all EVMs are completed,” the official added.
Once the counting of votes through all EVMs are completed, VVPATs of five polling stations of each Assembly constituency will be randomly selected by the RO.
And the votes polled through the VVPATs will be verified with those polled in the respective EVMs as mandated by the Supreme Court, the official added.
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