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‘Observers will check counting before announcing results'

Staff Reporter

Counting of postal ballot votes will begin at 8 a.m.: Collector



Namakkal Collector S. Madumathi and District Revenue Officer R. Seethalakshmi demonstrating

Namakkal: The results for every round of counting for all the six Assembly segments in this district will be announced only after they are properly checked by the respective election observers, said District Collector and District Election Officer S. Madumathi here on Friday.

She announced this while chairing the one-day training programme for Counting Supervisors, Counting Assistants, Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers of all the Assembly constituencies in Namakkal district, held at the conference hall of the Collectorate.

The Collector said that the observers would also conduct random checking for at least two control units for all the 24 rounds of counting. The Returning Officers and Assistant Returning Officers would start counting the postal ballot votes at 8 a.m. while counting of votes polled in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would begin at 8.30 a.m., she added.

She urged the counting officials and staff not to take more than 20 minutes to complete every round of counting to complete it by 4 p.m. She asked the officials to remain patient till the results were announced by the end of the day and to clarify the doubts raised by the counting agents representing various candidates and political parties.

While agents would have to stand beyond the barricade that would be put up near each the counting table (there would be 10 counting tables for each Assembly segment) they would only be permitted to simultaneously view the counting in the laptops that would be recording the procedure in that table, Ms. Madumathi said.

She said that the counting staff would have to re-run the counting for any EVM if there was dissatisfaction from the agents. While the display on the EVM's display unit would be in English, the Collector advised the supervisors to read out the votes polled by the candidates in Tamil for easier understanding of the counting agents of political parties.

If the EVMs indicated low battery, the unit should be turned off before changing the battery, she said and cautioned the counting personnel not to repair the EVMs using their own expertise. In case of any fault the supervisor would have to deposit the EVM to the observer, who in turn would coordinate officials from BEL to retrieve the data, she said.

The Collector said that randomisation of the counting supervisors and assistants would be held at 6 a.m. on May 13 at the only counting centre in the district – at the conference hall of Vivekanandha Education Institutions for Women near Tiruchengode. She told reporters that a total 205 counting personnel including 66 Counting Supervisors, 66 Counting Assistants and 73 Micro Observers would be involved in counting.

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