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Recount of postal ballots if they tilt the balance

Special Correspondent


Two ECIL personnel will be available at each counting centre to handle minor glitches if any

Sanatnagar Assembly constituency result is likely to come out first


HYDERABAD: Votes cast by the polling personnel and other government officials involved in election work through postal ballots will be counted for the second time if a candidate wins through these votes.

“Manual counting of postal ballots will be repeated even if there is no such demand as per the Election Commission rules if they tilt the balance,” said District Election Officer M.T. Krishna Babu.

Of the 4,847 total postal ballots issued, 1,822 were received for the Hyderabad (1,091) and Secunderabad (731) Parliament constituencies. About 1,474 were received for the 15 Assembly constituencies with Karwan getting the highest of 354 and Bahadurpura the lowest at 25.

Postal ballots can be sent to the Returning Officer concerned before counting starts at 8 a.m. and the first half hour will be for counting these votes. “Counting of votes polled in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will start at 8.30 a.m. irrespective of whether the postal ballots counting is completed or not. Recounting of postal ballots, if necessary, will be done after the EVMs counting,” explained Mr. Krishna Babu at a press conference.

For the first time randomisation of the counting officials to decide who goes to which constituency is being taken up to ensure more transparency and fair play. Officials like counting supervisors, counting assistants and others have been directed to assemble at the NTR Stadium near Indira Park at 6 a.m. on May 16 (Saturday). “We will be stationing two buses each for a constituency to take the 1,400 counting personnel to the various counting centres,” he said.

Data safe

Two senior technical personnel from the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) will be available at the DEO office to handle any serious technical malfunctioning of the EVMs during counting. “Even if there is a problem of data retrieval from a particular EVM, we can make use of the auxiliary machine to take the information stored. There is no problem at all with the votes polled and that data is safe,” he said. Besides, two ECIL personnel will be available at each counting centre to handle minor glitches if any.

Earlier in the day, Additional Chief Electoral Officer S.P. Singh inspected various counting centres. Results could be out in four to six hours with the first two rounds of counting likely to take up to 20 minutes, he said. Sanatnagar Assembly constituency result is likely to come out first since it has only 14 rounds while result of Jubilee Hills constituency will take more time as it has 22 rounds of counting.

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