Arrangements finalised for vote counting in J&K

As the countdown for final results of the 2019 general poll begins, the Election Commission of India has finalized arrangements for the counting exercise in Jammu and Kashmir which sends six members to the LokSabha.

Talking to Greater Kashmir, Chief Electoral Officer, Shailendra Kumar, said that security and other arrangements “are put in place in all the counting centers of the state as per the norms of ECI.”

“Adequate security and staff are being deployed in counting centers. They will be randomized before actual posting,” he said.

Like other states, the counting of votes in Jammu and Kashmir will take place on Thursday (May 23).

The outcome of the six LokSabha seats is being keenly watched in J&K as it is considered as “semi-final” before the Assembly polls.

Giving details about arrangements being made for counting, Kumar said 10 counting centers have been established in the state.

While there will be one counting center each for Baramulla, Anantnag, Srinagar, Jammu and Udhmapur parliamentary seats, two centers have been established for Ladakh segment, one each in Kargil and Leh.

Apart from them, three centers have also been established for counting of migrant votes at Udhampur, Jammu and New Delhi.

He said 90 counting halls have been set up in these centers. “There will be 896 counting tables in these halls,” he said.

He said the total number of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots of service voters received so far has reached 75400. “Around 250 scanners are being used for scanning postal ballots,” he said. Of these, 62000 have been received in Jammu and Udhampur parliamentary segments and remaining 13000 in Kashmir and Ladakh.

The service voters are entitled to send their postal ballots to returning officers till one hour before counting starts on May 23.

Like other states, the announcement of final results will also be delayed in J&K due to the increase in tallying voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) from every assembly segment.

The tallying of VVPAT slips with EVM count will only start after the last round of counting.