Lok Sabha Elections : Mock poll data not cleared in 44 Tamil Nadu booths, EC to count only VVPAT slips

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The Election Commission directed the CEO to count VVPAT slips of 44 polling stations in 13 districts of Tamil Nadu where the votes of previous mock polls had not been cleared.

In a directive by the Election Commission it asked the Chief Electoral Officer to count VVPAT slips of 44 polling stations in Tamil Nadu where the presiding officers had not either cleared the votes of previous mock polls in EVMs or in the VVPAT machines.

General elections were held in Tamil Nadu in April 18. The state’s Chief Electoral Officer had informed the EC of errors in the clearing of votes after mock polls. Former Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami said that in cases such as this the counting of VVPAT slips is a good option.

“Since the polling officer will have information about how many mock votes have been cast and how many votes were cast for each candidate [in the mock poll], it is possible to deduct that number from the total votes cast at a particular polling booth,” N Gopalaswami.

“There are machines that could be connected to the EVMs to retrieve information on the time at which the votes were cast…Since the presiding officers manually note down the time when the first vote was cast, they could verify the information and deduct the mock votes that were cast before the time when the voting began,” he added.

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