All set for counting of votes, ROs will decide recounting: CEO

Hyderabad, May 22 : Telangana Chief Electoral Officer Dr Rajath Kumar today returning officer’s decision will be final in the announcement of the results followed by counting in all the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies across the State on May 23. The results will be announced from time to time, he said, adding that the EC has made fool-proof arrangements for smooth conduct of counting of the votes polled on April 11.

Addressing mediapersons at the Secretariat here on Wednesday, Rajath Kumar said counting of votes will begin from 8 am. The ROs will take a call for recounting if necessary and the EC will not interfere. EVMs and 17 C machines will be tallied if there is difference in the votes and slips will be counted again. If candidates or their agents seek recounting, returning officer will take a final decision said. The CEO said so far there was no difference in EVMs and VVPATs and it may crop up if mock polling slips from the VVPATs are not cleared. Each VVPAT will have 1500 slips and 100 meant for mock polling that have to be removed. Though there was scope for human error in the counting of VVPATs slips every measure has been taken for giving accurate results.

Rajat Kumar stated media center is put in place at all the counting centers and for transparency they will be allowed to visit the counting halls. A three tier security has been made at the counting centers to ensure smooth and fair counting and cell phones are not allowed. He said they have set up 126 counting halls in 35 locations across the State.

As per Election Commission guidelines, the officials take up counting of postal ballots first, EVMs next and then five VVPATs in random to declare the results. Slips from five VVPAT machines from each Assembly segment will be taken for counting. The officials will take up counting of 14 machines in first round using 14 tables in all Assembly segments. However, he said 18 tables were arranged in two halls in Nizamabad segment with 36 EVMs. About 6,500 counting staff will be involved in the task to be guarded by police personnel. (NSS)

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