Mangan, May 15 (IPR): The second round briefing on Counting of Votes to the Officers who have been entrusted with counting task was held at conference hall of District Administrative Centre, Mangan today.
The District Election Officer (DEO)-cum-District Magistrate, Shri Raj Yadav chaired the meeting and briefed the gathering about the counting process involving Counting Supervisor (CS), Counting Agents (CA) and Micro-Observers (MO). The DEO told the counting officers to be more cautious and there will be no room for error during counting of votes. He also urged all counting officers to co-operate and maintain the decorum during the day of counting.
Present in the meeting were, Shri Kunzang Dorjee Shangderpa, Sr. Superintendent of Police, North, Shri Samdup Bhutia, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Mangan, Shri Mahesh Sharma Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Kabi, Shri Subash Ghimire, Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Chungthang, Shri Norbu Tshering Bhutia , Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Dzongu, Kabi, Shri Santosh Pradhan Under Secretary, Election Department and the officials vested with the task of vote counting.
The EVMs will be taken out at 7:30 am from strong room in the presence of all political parties and Counting of votes pertaining to Assembly Constituencies i.e. 29-Kabi-lungchok, 30-Dzongu, 31- Lachen-Mangan, 32- Sangha and no. 1- Sikkim Parliamentary constituency will take place from 8 am on 23rd of May in hall no. 1 and hall no. 2 at strong room, District Administrative Centre, Mangan.
The Postal Ballot will be counted first. There will be twelve counting tables, six each for Parliamentary and State Legislative Assembly.
Counting of votes pertaining to assembly segments of Sikkim parliamentary constituency and assembly constituencies shall be done in hall no. 1 and hall no. 2 respectively.
Each candidate shall be allowed to appoint 8 numbers of counting agents; 6 for counting table + one postal ballot table + one for computation or returning officer table to witness the counting process for Assembly Constituencies.
Similarly, each candidate shall be allowed to appoint 7 numbers of counting agents; 6 for counting table + 1 for computation or returning officer table for parliamentary constituencies.
All such counting agents have to appoint under law, in Form- 18 before May 20. Photo ID cards will be issued to all counting agents by the returning officer and without photo ID cards they shall be denied entry into the counting hall.
SP North briefed about the security arrangements of the counting day. Identification Cards will be needed to enter the DAC. The venue for parking place of vehicles of belonging to the political parties will take place in Mangan Public Ground. A vehicle pass will be given to vehicles granted by the Election department and only the vehicles with those pass will be allowed inside the DAC for pick and drop.
To ensure tight security arrangements 100 meter periphery around a counting premise /campus should be demarcated as “pedestrian Zone”. No vehicle shall be allowed within this perimeter accept for official vehicles of ECI Observers; RO/AROs and SSP/ District Police Officers for law and order reason.
Three tier cordoning system should be set up in all counting centers to prevent entry of unauthorized persons inside the counting center. The first or outer cordon shall be at the start of the pedestrian zone and it shall be manned by the state police force. Identity of persons wanting to in has to be established at this stage. The second or middle cordon shall be at the gate of the counting premise/campus and it shall be manned by the state armed police. Proper frisking should be made by the state police force personnel only to ensure that no prohibited items like match box, arms etc. are carried inside. Women shall be frisked only by women police personnel/women home guards. The forces responsible for enforcing second cordon shall also ensure that no one is loitering outside the counting halls and using mobile phones or other communication equipments. The third or inner cordon shall be at the door of the counting hall. This will be manned by central armed police forces. There will be frisking arrangements at this stage too to ensure that no mobile phones and other prohibited items are carried inside the counting hall.
Observers of the ECI are allowed to carry their mobile phone inside the counting center and DEO/RO is allowed to use his mobile phone from designated rooms at the counting center.
The persons allowed in the counting hall are; counting supervisors/assistance and micro observers, Persons authorized by the ECI and observers, Public servants on duty in connection with the election and candidates, their election agents and counting agents.
During the meeting, it was also informed that the Additional Returning Officer (ARO) and Returning Officer (RO) will be incharge of all the operations on the Counting day. The decision made by the Returning Officer (RO) will be final on the counting day. The ARO and RO will be there to address any confusion concerning the counting process
The DEO informed everyone that the results of VVPAT slips will prevail if the number of vote tallies between VVPAT machine and Control Unit does not match