Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes for Karnataka Assembly election 2018 at a polling station in Mangaluru, Karnataka. (Source: PTI)

Election Results May Get Delayed By 5-6 Hours, Says Delhi Chief Election Commissioner

The declaration of 2019 Lok Sabha election results on Thursday are likely to be delayed by 5-6 hours, Delhi Chief Election Commissioner Ranbir Singh has said, as counting of voter verifiable paper audit trails will take place after electronic voting machines are tallied. The Supreme Court had earlier this year directed counting of the voter-verified paper audit trail slips after tallying of votes cast at electronic voting machines.

"From every assembly constituency, five (VVPATs) will be randomly selected and they will be counted. There is a special VVPAT booth in every counting hall. It will take place in five rounds,” said Singh about counting of votes in Delhi. The state has 70 assembly constituencies and in all 350 VVPATs will be counted.

"Every assembly segment had 200 polling stations and five polling stations will be selected randomly. This will delay the formal results. But trends will be out early. Formal declaration of election results will be delayed by five to six hours," Singh said. He has briefed Delhi chief secretary Vijay Dev about the expected delay in election results.

Delhi has seven Lok Sabha seats and there is one counting centre in each of them. The counting centres will have one counting hall for each of the 10 assembly segments, officials said.

In each counting hall, a maximum of 14 tables can be put, and machines that would come in the first round, their results will be compiled and uploaded on the 'Suvidha' app of the Election Commission.

The counting will commence at 8 a.m. with postal ballots. Officials will have to ensure that the postal ballot counting is over with at least two rounds of EVM counting yet to be done.

After the EVM counting is over, the VVPAT counting will commence.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that random matching of VVPAT slips with EVMs will take place in five polling booths per assembly segment. Accordingly, the exercise will be held in 20,600 of the 10.35 lakh polling stations across the country.

Nearly 39.6 lakh EVMs and 17.4 lakh VVPATs were used for 2019 Lok Sabha elections. These include reserves.

Bloomberg Quint

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