Padampur By-Poll: Counting Of Votes To Start At 8 AM, All Arrangements In Place, Says Odisha CEO

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Bhubaneswar:  The counting of postal votes for by-poll to Padampur Assembly Constituency will start at 8 am on Thursday (Dec 8) and the entire process is likely to be completed by evening.

“All arrangements are ready for smooth and transparent counting of votes cast in the December 5 Padampur by-poll in Odisha,” said state Chief Electoral Office (CEO) S K Lohani on Wednesday at a presser.

Tight security is in place for the counting at RMC yard near the Padampur sub-collector’s office and trained officials have been engaged for the work, he said.

R.M.C. Godown, Padampur has been declared as the Counting Centre for Padampur Assembly Constituency and polled EVMs have been stored in the Strong room close to the Counting Hall.

The Strong room will be opened on the morning of 8th Dec and the initial counting of Postal Ballots will be taken up at 8.00 a.m. All the postal ballots received from Service voters (24) as well as Absentee voters (272) i.e. a total of 296 postal ballots will be taken up for counting. Postal ballots from Service voters will also be included which are received till 7.59 a.m. on the Counting day. All necessary infrastructure has been ensured by DEO & Collector, Bargarh and Returning Officer.

A total of 319 booths will be counted in 14 Tables in each round. In all, 23 rounds of Counting will take place and after completion of EVM counting, VVPAT slips of five booths selected randomly will be taken up for counting to cross-verify the EVM figures.

Each table will have three persons i.e., one Counting Supervisor, one Counting Assistant and one Micro Observer (belongs to Central Govt.). There will be sufficient reserve personnel. All of them have been properly trained, said Lohani.

Allotment of table to the Counting Staff will be done on a Random basis and counting will be done by R.O. who will be assisted by one A.R.O. Besides, General Observer appointed by ECI will be present throughout to oversee the counting process, he said.

To handle any Technical issue arising during counting, two ECIL Engineers will be available in the Counting centre. Except for R.O. and Observer, nobody can carry mobile phones inside the Counting hall.

Each candidate can appoint one Agent for each table and one for counting agent for R.O. Table for counting Postal ballots etc. Besides, the Candidate or his/her Election Agent can remain present in the Counting Hall.

Adequate security arrangement has been made around the Counting Centre. The entire 100 mtr zone will be declared as Pedestrian zone. There will be three-tier security consisting of CAPF, S.A.P.F. and Local Police.

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