Bhubaneswar: Gearing up for the counting of votes and declaration of results on May 23 as scheduled by the Election Commission of India (ECI), Odisha Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) today announced that counting will take longer period this time as it would be on a random basis as well as on a sequential basis in pursuance of Supreme Court’s directive.
He also revealed that the present way of counting requires mandatory provision for air conditioners (AC) installed in each counting centre.
Talking to media on the sidelines of the two-day orientation-cum-training workshop for the Returning Officers before the counting of votes, Odisha CEO Surendra Kumar explained, “Our counting in Odisha will definitely take longer time. For the first time, VVPAT will be counted. By doing this, it will consume more time because there will be lottery and this process may take minimum 45 minutes or an hour.”
“As per the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court followed by the Hon’ble Election Commission’s directive, the VVPAT counting will be on a random basis from 5 booths. The printed paper slips will be counted. This time’s counting will be sequential. Point to be noted that it will not be parallel or concurrent, but sequential,” he underlined.
He explained, “Sequentially means: after the counting of one booth, the EVM will be back to the strong room and another machine will come. Its VVPAT slips will be counted, its Form will be filled up and the machine will go back to the strong room. Accordingly, the fourth machine and the fifth one will be counted. If done concurrently, suppose one round counting takes an hour, if done sequentially it would be multiplied by 5.”
“Thus the counting window will be long and we are preparing up accordingly. There ought to be air-conditioned hall so that there won’t be exhaustion during this longer period of counting this time,” the Odisha CEO remarked.