Phase-II Records 63-64% Polling Tentatively, Figure Very Likely To Change: Odisha CEO

Bhubaneswar: While the Phase-II polling in Odisha’s five parliamentary constituencies along with the 35 assembly constituencies under them passed off peacefully amid certain stray incidents of EVM glitches and human error, the day recorded 63-74% voting tentatively as information received by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) here.

Briefing media, Odisha CEO Surendra Kumar said, “Polling percentage by 5 pm as has been informed to us is tentatively 63-64%. Towards the close of poll, the Sector Officers have been directed to be more active and extra vigilant. It’s because the booths remain crowded and voters are seen in queue. As per the norms, starting from the last person Chit No 1 is given while the person at the threshold is given the final chit. The countdown is made. Whoever is there after the Chit No 1, the voter may be in queue, but not allowed to cast vote.”

He also said, “Those who are in queue by the deadline can be allowed to vote while the person coming after the deadline has no right to vote as per the guideline set by the Elcetion Commission. For this reason, the data dispatched by the Sector Officers slows down.”

“Generally in the inaccessible areas, we have the provison for runners. Their responsibility is to go to the booth, collect information and inform us after coming back to the network area. In the wake of yesterday’s tragic incident, we are not taking risk. Hence, information some areas are reaching here very slow. Because, safety of a person is more important than getting information,” stated the Odisha CEO.

He added, “The places that had polling till 4 pm, voters were still in queue. Where the closing time is 6 pm, voting will obviously take more time there. After then only the polling parties will go in for the mandatory sealing of EVMs and other procedures. Reporting to the depositing point takes time, about midnight.”

“Once we get the detailed data, we’ll certainly pass it on to media tomorrow,” Kumar assured.