May 23: EC Braces Up For The Big Date In Odisha
With Odisha having voted for both the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha, the Election Commission has waived the mandatory 14 tables counting norm for the State.
“There is a norm of EC to have only 14 counting tables in a counting centre. However, as the State is witnessing simultaneous polls we have requested to allot more tables to ensure faster counting process. EC has permitted to put 411 more tables. The additional tables will be allotted to centres witnessing more rounds,” informed Surendra Kumar, Odisha CEO.
As per Odisha CEO, the State to witness on an average 30 rounds of counting per constituency. But Sambalpur Assembly Constituency to witness the minimum of 19 rounds, Patnagarh with 49 rounds of count has the maximum counting rounds in the State.
Significantly, CEO has flagged a serious concern where he said there is a possibility of non-deletion of mock votes exercised before the start of regular polling. “I have conveyed about the inadvertent errors to the ECI and waiting for further ECI directions. In such cases, however, it could be that the VVPAT slips will be counted to eliminate the error,” he observed.
Elaborating on the time-consuming counting hours in the State, Kumar said as compared to mere 31, 326 ballots counted in 2014 general elections, till to date a whopping 1 lakh postal ballots have been received. The CEO office will not entertain any postal ballot for counting, if received beyond 8AM on Wednesday.