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  India   Politics  26 May 2024  ECI reveals data on votes polled in each LS seat

ECI reveals data on votes polled in each LS seat

THE ASIAN AGE. | VINEETA PANDEY
Published : May 26, 2024, 12:03 am IST
Updated : May 26, 2024, 12:03 am IST

ECI highlighted that the voter turnout data had always been accessible to candidates and citizens through the Voter Turnout App

Polling officers check the identity card of an elderly person in his home, in New Delhi, India, Friday, May 17, 2024. To encourage and assist elderly persons to cast their votes, the Election Commission of India initiated the home voting facility for the ongoing general parliamentary elections. (AP Photo)
 Polling officers check the identity card of an elderly person in his home, in New Delhi, India, Friday, May 17, 2024. To encourage and assist elderly persons to cast their votes, the Election Commission of India initiated the home voting facility for the ongoing general parliamentary elections. (AP Photo)

New Delhi: Under fire from the Opposition, media, and civil society over the lack of precise polling figures, the Election Commission of India (ECI) released the absolute numbers of votes polled in each constituency on Saturday, emphasising that the data of votes polled cannot be altered.

In a statement, the ECI highlighted that the voter turnout data had always been accessible to candidates and citizens through the Voter Turnout App.

Providing absolute numbers per seat, the ECI reported final polling percentages for the five phases as follows: 66.14 per cent in phase one, 66.71 per cent in phase two, 65.68 per cent in phase three, 69.16 per cent in phase four, and 62.20 per cent in phase five. These figures exclude postal ballots, and the final numbers for phase six are pending.

The Commission noted "the pattern of false narratives and mischievous design to vitiate the electoral process" and reaffirmed its commitment to transparency and stakeholder involvement at every stage of the electoral cycle. Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, speaking to the media after casting his vote, stated, "...An attempt is being made to create an atmosphere of doubt; one day we will reveal how people are misled. Due to this, doubts arise about the correctness of EVMs and voting lists. Yesterday, the Supreme Court addressed these concerns, but we will also provide clarification."

Members of the Opposition, media, and civil society had been urging the ECI to release all data within a day after polling ends.

"Big victory for people's Right to Information! ECI releases voter turnout figures in absolute numbers. This is an important step, although it could have been done sooner. The demand to disclose Form 17C must continue as it is the only statutory authenticated record of voter turnout," said activist Anjali Bharadwaj, who had petitioned the ECI for disclosure of votes recorded at every polling station.

The ECI assured that the process of collecting and storing votes polled is rigorous, transparent, and participative. It stressed that the turnout data had been accurate and consistent, adhering to election laws without discrepancies. The Commission has shared the detailed process of recording and releasing turnout data with political parties and the public.

Further, the ECI stated that it has always provided the absolute number of voters for completed phases and shared this information with polling agents on polling day through Form 17C.

"The Commission feels strengthened by the Supreme Court's observations and verdict on the release of turnout data. This places a higher responsibility on us to serve the cause of electoral democracy with unwavering dedication," the ECI stated.

The Commission also expanded the format of turnout data release to include the absolute number of voters in every parliamentary constituency.

Explaining the process, the ECI stated that candidates receive the final list of electors after the list of contesting candidates is finalised. Authorised agents of all candidates receive Form 17C for each of the approximately 10.5 lakh polling stations. Candidates or their agents compare the copy of Form 17C with the results in each round at the counting centre.

"The total number of votes polled in a constituency, as recorded in Form 17C, cannot be changed, as it is available to all contesting candidates. Agents of candidates are allowed to accompany EVMs and statutory papers, including Form 17C, from the polling station to storage in a strong room," the ECI clarified.

 

Tags: election commission of india, 2024 lok sabha elections, voter turnout
Location: India, Delhi