The Election Commission on Wednesday said that elaborate arrangements for counting of votes on March 10 in 690 Assembly constituencies of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh and bypoll to Assam’s Majuli have been made.
“Altogether, 671 counting observers, 130 police observers, and 10 Special Observers will be on ground to ensure the smooth counting process while the Commission has deputed two special officers – Chief Electoral Officer Delhi to Meerut and Chief Electoral Officer Bihar to Varanasi to supervise the counting arrangements,” it said.
The Commission also said elaborate and full proof arrangements have been made at all the counting centres. All strong rooms, where polled EVMs are kept, are under three-layered security with inner cordon manned by central armed police forces and the candidates concerned have been watching the strong room arrangements through CCTV coverage of 24×7.
At all counting centres, the district administration has imposed prohibitory orders around the counting halls to ensure that peace and tranquillity is not disturbed while the representative of the political parties or candidates are involved at each stage related to EVM such as opening and closing of EVM warehouse and at each stage, serial number of each EVM (including polled) will be shared with the political parties/candidates.
The postal ballots received before 8 a.m. on counting day shall be taken up for counting and shall continue till its completion. All existing instructions of counting of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) and Postal Ballots shall be complied with.
The counting of votes for EVM shall commence at 08.30 a.m. and the EVM counting shall continue irrespective of the stage of postal ballot counting as per EC instructions dated May 18, 2019.
After each round of counting, tabulation of results in a prescribed format will be done. This will be signed by the Returning Officer and Observer, and a copy will be shared with the candidates. After announcement of round-wise results, counting of next round will be taken up as per extant instructions.
A media centre has been set up at each counting location for round-wise dissemination of trends. Media passes have also been issued.
The results are displayed on the website of the Election Commission and will be updated periodically to display the current round-wise trends and result of each constituency while the trends and results are also accessible through the “Voter Helpline App” Mobile App available at Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The Commission also said that there have been some rumours related to EVMs etc, which are totally unrelated to polled EVMs and in each case of slightest breach of protocol, swift action has been taken by the Commission against the officers concerned.
No person should indulge in any rumour mongering or spreading wrongful information whereas the EC has directed CEOs and District Administration to take strictest legal action against such rumour-mongers and mischief.