Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi stated that the counting of the VVPAT slips would be done only after the counting of votes.Speaking to reporters on Wednesday at the Secretariat, he said that since there were many doubts about the VVPAT poll counting process, he sought to clarify the process.
VVPAT counting process
The CEC said that in each constituency, the VVPAT slips counting would take place only after two rounds of EVM counting are over. Based on a lottery system, five VVPATs will be selected and counted. If there is any discrepancy between the votes counted in the EVMs and VVPATs, there will be another phase of recounting, he said.
The CEO also further clarified there were certain rules and regulations laid out by the Election Commission which had to be followed. A mesh would be established where the Returning officers and Observers will be allowed to sit and conduct the counting process of VVPAT slips, he said. The VVPATs would be counted one after the other, and then results would be declared, he said.
Postal Ballot recounting
The CEO also specified that the EC had made revisions about the postal ballots counting. In the past, the EVM counting would start only after the postal ballot counting was completed. Now the Electoral officers are allowed to start counting EVM votes half an hour after the postal ballot counting starts, he said. If the candidates majority is less than the total postal ballots, then the postal ballots would be recounted, he clarified.
Explaining further, Gopal Krishna Dwivedi said, that if the total Postal Ballot count was 3000 and the candidate gets a 2000 majority, then without any person or party's intervention the recounting process would be done again by the election officials.
As per the directions of the Supreme court for each Assembly constituency 5 VVPAT's have to be counted randomly. In the same way, under the Parliamentary constituencies, the VVPAT's of five polling centres has to be counted. The Returning officers and Observers will be only allowed for the counting process of VVPAT slips. The results will be announced after the counting of the VVPAT slips and comparing them with EVM votes.
Gopal Krishna Dwivedi also spoke about re-polling that will be held in the booths located in Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts.