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Count of postal ballots will commence first: CEC

Count of postal ballots will commence first: CEC
Citing the Conduct of Election Rules, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday said the count of postal ballots will start first across all counting centres and asserted that there was "no doubt about it". Responding to questions at a press conference here, he said after half-an-hour of the start of the postal ballot count, the counting of votes recorded in the electronic voting machines will commence.

A delegation of the opposition parties had on Sunday met the Commission to demand that postal ballot count should start first and the results of postal ballots should be announced first.

"Rules clearly state (Rule 54A) that postal ballot count will start first. On all centres in the country it will start first, no doubt about it. After half-an-hour we start the EVM count. So, there are three countings which are happening simultaneously - it happened in the 2019 elections, it happened in all the assembly polls held thereafter. It happened yesterday also in case of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim assembly (vote count). We can't change anything mid course. Why can't we change, because it is compliant with the rules," he said.

He said the postal ballot count and then the EVM count and finally the marching of VVPT slips with EVM results will continue.

In majority of the booths, the number of postal ballot is less. It will automatically end first, he pointed out.

Since 2019, VVPAT (paper-trail machine) slips from five randomly selected polling stations per assembly constituency (or segment in cases of Lok Sabha seats) are matched with the EVM count for greater transparency.

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