Lok Sabha elections counting: Arrangements in place for a smooth process across South India

This is the first time in a LS election that results from all constituencies in the country will be made available through a unified system.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jun 04, 2024 | 6:17 AMUpdatedJun 04, 2024 | 6:48 AM

Counting center in Dharwad constituency in Karnataka. (X)

Elaborate arrangements have been put in place across the country ahead of the counting of the votes polled in the Lok Sabha elections 2024 on Tuesday, 4 June.

Polling for the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies in the 28 states and eight Union Territories was held in seven phases from 18 April to 1 June.

The election results will be accessible live through the website https://results.eci.gov.in, using the Election Commission’s ENCORE software.

This is the first time in a Lok Sabha election that results from all constituencies in the country will be made available through a unified system.

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Karnataka

More than 13,000 staff at the 29 counting centres across Karnataka for the counting of votes on 28 Lok Sabha constituencies, officials said on Monday.

The first phase of polling in the 14 seats in most of the southern and coastal districts in the state was held on 26 April and the second phase in the other 14 segments in the northern districts was held on 7 May.

Each Parliamentary Lok Sabha constituency has one counting centre each. However, in Tumakuru, counting of votes will be done in two places, so the total number of counting centres is 29.

Speaking to PTI, Manoj Kumar Meena, Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka said, “We have 28 Parlimentary Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka and counting of votes at the 29 counting centres in the state will begin at 8 am on Tuesday.”

He further said that elaborate arrangements have been made and 13,173 counting staff, including counting supervisors, counting assistants and micro observers have been deployed.

“All necessary training for the staff has also been completed. At each counting centre, EVMs and postal ballots will be counted in separate rooms. Media centres have also been set up at each of these counting centres with required facilities (with computers, xerox, fax, printers) so that they can report to their respective media outlets,” he added.

Arrangements in Bengaluru

According to the police, in Bengaluru alone, more than 2,400 police officers have been deployed at the three counting centres in the state capital, namely Mount Carmel College, Vasantnagar (Bangalore Central Constituency), St Joseph’s Indian High School, Vithal Mallya Road (Bangalore North Constituency) and SSMRV College, Jayanagar (Bangalore South Constituency).

Appropriate arrangements have been made for the counting of votes in the three Lok Sabha constituencies within the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) limits to ensure the smooth conduct of the counting of votes under tight security, they said.

A total of 1,524 officers/personnel, 13 armed reserved units and four quick response teams have been deployed by Bangalore City Police unit for counting day and already 516 police officers and personnel, including civil and City Armed Reserve wings, have been deployed for maintaining strong room security duty in three shifts.

More than 400 traffic department police officers and personnel will be stationed to ensure that traffic flow around the counting centres is not interrupted.

A total of more than 2,400 police officers and personnel of the city has been deployed for vote counting duty to monitor the situation in the three counting centres.

From Monday midnight to 4 June midnight, the sale of liquor is prohibited in city limits and prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC have been imposed in Bengaluru from 6 am on Tuesday to Tuesday midnight.

The Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and City Armed Reserve platoons will be deployed in sensitive areas of the city to ensure that no untoward incident occurs, police said.

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Kerala

Preparations for counting of votes polled in the 26 April Lok Sabha elections in Kerala are complete, and the process will take place in 20 centres across the state.

A total of 194 candidates are vying for the 20 seats in the state, making the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls a crucial battleground for the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF, the Congress-headed UDF and the BJP-led NDA.

According to Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul, measures have been taken to ensure that the vote-counting process is transparent and secure.

The counting will start at 8 am, beginning with the postal ballots. The counting of votes from the voting machines will commence half an hour after the counting of postal ballots begins, the commission said.

A unified system has been prepared to provide real-time results to the public and the media, Kaul said.

The election results will be available in real time on the Election Commission’s website and the Voter Helpline app.

The election results will be accessible live through the website https://results.eci.gov.in, using the Election Commission’s ENCORE software.

Real-time data to be made available

As each round of vote counting is completed, the results will be directly provided by the Assistant Returning Officers (AROs) from the counting centres, and this real-time data will be available on the website.

This is the first time in a Lok Sabha election that results from all constituencies in the country will be made available through a unified system, he said.

Real-time information will also be accessible through the Election Commission’s Voter Helpline app.

Media centres have been set up at all counting centres in the state.

Election results of the Lok Sabha constituencies will be available on digital display boards at these centres, he added.

Select educational institutions were turned into counting centres in various constituencies in the southern state, EC sources said.

The EC made it clear that only counting supervisors, counting assistants, micro-observers, Election Commission representatives, observers, government officials on election duty, candidates, and their election agents are allowed into the counting hall.

Each Assembly constituency will have a separate hall for counting votes, with a maximum of 14 tables in each hall, the sources added.

Each table will have a counting supervisor, a gazetted rank officer, a counting assistant, and a micro-observer to ensure the transparency of the counting process.

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Tamil Nadu

All arrangements are in place for the counting of votes for the 39 Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

Vote counting at the 39 counting centres spread across Tamil Nadu will begin at 8 am. Postal ballots shall be taken up first, after which the votes cast in EVMs will be taken up by 8.30 am.

Nearly 40,000 personnel have been deployed for the exercise.

As many as 950 candidates are in the fray in the 39 Lok Sabha segments in the state, which had a voter turnout of 69.72 percent in the 19 April single-phase election in Tamil Nadu.

About one lakh police personnel will stand guard and 15 companies of personnel from the Central Armed Police Forces are also deployed.

The votes polled in South Chennai will be counted at Anna University, while the premises of Queen Mary’s and Loyola colleges will be used for counting of votes cast in the North and Central Chennai constituencies respectively.

On 4 June, the votes polled in the Vilavancode by-poll (Kanniyakumari district) will also be counted, and complete results for the LS seats and the lone Assembly segment are expected to be fully out by evening.

According to several exit polls, in Tamil Nadu the ruling DMK and its allies are poised for a big win in most constituencies. The principal opposition AIADMK is expected to put up a tough fight in seats like Erode. Similarly, the BJP and its allies are said to have an edge in segments like Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Dharmapuri.

The INDIA bloc constituents, including the DMK, have already urged the Election Commission to first count the postal votes and then take up counting of votes recorded in EVMs.

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo has held meetings with District Election Officers to review the preparedness for vote counting, declaration of results, security and all other necessary arrangements.

The Union Territory of Puducherry also voted in the Lok Sabha poll in the first phase on April 19, along with the state of Tamil Nadu.

Puducherry

There are 26 aspirants in the fray in the UT for the lone Lok Sabha seat, although the main fight for all practical purposes is between the sitting Member of Parliament V Vaithilingam (Congress) and the Home Minister of Puducherry and senior BJP leader A Namassivayam.

The AIADMK nominee is G Tamizh Vendhan.

The union territory has registered 78.90 percent polling.

Official sources said that three-tier security has been put in place at the counting centres. In Puducherry region, counting of votes will take place at the Motilal Nehru Government Polytechnic and the Government Women’s Engineering college in Lawspet.

Aringar Anna Government Arts and Science College is the venue for counting of votes in Karaikal, while the Jawaharlal Nehru Government Higher Secondary school and the Dr SRK Government Arts college are the venues for counting of votes in Mahe and Yanam regions respectively.

More than 700 police personnel are on security duty at the counting centres, official sources said.

Counting of votes in 12 of the total 30 Assembly constituencies would be taken up in the first round while in 10 segments it would be taken up in the second round, and votes polled in the remaining eight segments will be taken up in the third round.

The government has directed that all liquor shops in the union territory be shut on Tuesday.

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Telangana

Necessary arrangements have been made for the counting of votes polled in the election to the 17 Lok Sabha constituencies in Telangana, with about 10,000 personnel geared up to take part in the exercise on Tuesday, officials said.

The counting of votes will begin from 8 am on Tuesday at 34 centres.

A three-layer security cordon has been put in place and 12 companies of central forces have been deployed for strongroom security.

The counting of votes polled in the bypoll held for the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituency would also begin at 8 am on 4 June.

Polling for the 17 Lok Sabha seats and the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly by-poll was held on 13 May.

Telangana had recorded a 66.3 percent voter turnout for the Lok Sabha polls and the main contest is between the ruling Congress, the BRS and the BJP.

In the 2019 polls, the BRS won nine seats, while the BJP won four and Congress had bagged three and AIMIM one.

Prominent candidates

Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, sitting MPs Bandi Sanjay and D Arvind are prominent candidates from the BJP. The key contenders from Congress include former Union minister Balram Naik, former IPS officer RS Praveen Kumar from BRS and AIMIM party chief Asaduddin Owaisi.

Telangana Chief Minister and TPCC president A Revanth Reddy on Monday held a teleconference with the party’s contestants and gave them the necessary instructions with regard to the counting process.

According to Congress party sources, Revanth Reddy instructed the candidates to appoint sincere people as their counting agents at the centres.

The by-poll for the Secunderabad Cantonment Assembly constituency was necessitated due to the death of sitting BRS MLA G Lasya Nanditha in a road accident earlier this year.

(With PTI inputs)