New Delhi: The Election Commission on Wednesday reviewed preparations for the counting of votes across 116 Counting Centres in respect of Assembly polls of Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and by-elections to 6 Assembly constituencies and one Parliamentary constituency.
While the counting of votes will begin from 8 a.m. on Thursday, one Counting Observer per Assembly Constituency has been deputed in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat and those constituencies where bypolls were held.
Two Special Observers each in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will be on ground to ensure the smooth counting process.
A senior official said that the Commission from time to time has issued detailed instructions and SoPs related to counting of votes, which shall also be applicable during counting of votes in respect of the above-mentioned constituencies.
Elaborate and foolproof arrangements have been made at all the counting centres.
All strong rooms, where polled EVMs are kept, are under three-layered security with inner cordon manned by Central Armed Forces.
Provision of 24x7 CCTV coverage of strong room arrangements is available.
Besides, political parties or candidates are involved at each stage related to EVM deployment during elections.
At each stage, the serial number of each EVM (including polled) is shared with the political parties/candidates.
The district administration has imposed section 144 CrPC around the counting halls to ensure that peace and tranquility is not disturbed.
As per SoPs, counting of votes shall be taken up for postal ballots at 8 a.m. and shall continue till its completion.
After a gap of 30 minutes from the commencement of counting of postal ballot papers, counting of votes for EVM shall commence at 8.30 a.m.