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Friday 3 July 2020

Why on 23 May, vote counting, results will be delayed

The deputy election commissioner explained on television in an interview why it will take longer to arrive at the election results this time

New Delhi: While the nation awaits with bated breath the results of the general election 2019, which is expected on 23 May after the last phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha poll ends on 19 May, the Election Commission says that the final result will have to wait.

The Election Commission has said that declaration of the results of the Lok Sabha seats may take some time. The main reason for this is that VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) slips are to be matched with EVM votes, which will take a little longer.

Deputy election commissioner Sudip Jain confirmed this in an interview with a television channel. Jain said that this time, there may be some delay in declaring the election results. According to him, the announcement of the results can get delayed by four or five hours. Jain said that the speed of vote-counting will be less due to the new compulsion of matching the EVM counts with those of the VVPAT paper trails.

VVPAT machines have been used with EVM in the current Lok Sabha election. A slip emerges from this machine after a voter press a button on the EVM to show whether the candidate that the citizen has voted for has indeed received the vote.

But the VVPAT has a role not just inside five polling booths in every Assembly constituency but also in the counting process. When votes from the EVM units are counted on 23 May, the VVPAT vote count must tally with it.

The Election Commission had decided to install VVPAT with EVM in some booths after some opposition parties complained of “malfunctioning” or “tampered” EVMs every time they lost an election.

The first set of VVPAT units was installed in one booth for every Assembly seat, which was increased to five on the demand of the opposition. It is now five in each Assembly.

Meanwhile, 21 opposition parties continue to crib about VVPAT even after the Supreme Court dismissed their petition on 7 May. Opposition parties have also apologized to the Supreme Court that 50% of VVPATs will be installed with EVMs. The Supreme Court has rejected this demand of the opposition on 7 May, after which the opposition parties have approached the Election Commission.

However, the poll of five phases has been completed. Now there are two steps and the rest. In this case, the effect of this demand of opposition parties on the Election Commission in the context of the current election is a matter of discussion. But the Commission has conveyed the delay of the results due to VVPAT. That is, on 23 May, people waiting for election results may have to wait a bit more.

For all reports related to the Lok Sabha election 2019, please visit this page.

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