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Much awaited 17th LS Election Vote Counting across 542 constituencies to begin tomorrow 7 am, final result out by 10 pm
TIWN May 22, 2019
Much awaited 17th LS Election Vote Counting across 542 constituencies to begin tomorrow 7 am, final result out by 10 pm
PHOTO : File Photo

AGARTALA / NEW DELHI, May 22 (TIWN): The Election Commission of India (ECI) will open 17th Lok Sabha Counting Session tomorrow morning sharp at 7 am. The final results are likely to be delayed this time by four to six hours because of the introduction of additional Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) counting.The Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases across the 542 parliamentary constituencies from April 11 to May 19. Approximately 60 crore voters have cast ballots across 10 lakh booths in 29 states and seven union territories.The general election witnessed a mega campaign from key political players such as PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati of the Mahagathbandhan and several other senior BJP and Opposition leaders.In addition, the EC appoints its observers to oversee the process and ensure that it happens in a transparent manner.

Counting will happen in the presence of the Returning Officer (RO) of the constituency and candidates and their agents. It is expected to begin at 8.00 am. The RO declares the result when he or she is certain that counting has been successfully completed.

Each candidate can appoint up to 16 counting agents from his/her party for each place of counting. The counting agent takes care of the interests of the party.

The ending hour of Lok Sabha Election depends on the situation. For some assembly elections, the counting has gone on till late in the 10 pm.

This time, however, results might be delayed by around five hours, according to the EC. This is due to an increase in the number of VVPAT verification to five random EVMs.

In April, the Supreme Court had ordered the EC to increase VVPAT slips from one EVM per Assembly constituency to five.

The postal ballot (PB) process is reserved for service officers, their spouses, those on polling duty, electors subject to preventive detention etc.

The postal ballots are counted only at the Returning Officer's table. The voters are provided with Cover A, which contains the ballot paper. The voters are also provided with Cover B, containing Form 13A.

On the counting day, Cover B is opened and attestation in Form 13 A is checked. If it has been properly attested and the number of PB written in 13 A, matches with the number written on Cover A, only then is Cover A opened and ballots counted.

It normally takes about half an hour for the PBs to be counted, after which counting for the EVMs can be started.

Counting for both is done in the same counting hall. One side of the hall is reserved for counting of Lok Sabha votes while the other is reserved for the state assemblies.

There are a total of 543 constituencies in India that are represented by 543 members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha.

These members are elected directly by the citizens of India. The 29 states send 530 MPs to the Lok Sabha, while the seven Union Territories send 13 MPs.

However, it is important to note that there are a total of 545 members in the Lok Sabha, out of which 543 are elected and two are nominated by the President of India.

This time, polling happened only in 542 constituencies after election in Vellore, Tamil Nadu was cancelled after a cash haul.

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