Preparations Underway For Dec 23 Counting

17 December 2014
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: As countdown for counting of votes in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly election begins, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has decided to set up 28 centers for the exercise to be taken up on December 23. The polling for state's 67 assembly constituencies has been completed while remaining 20 seats- all in Jammu province- of the 87 member Assembly will go to polling on December 20. Chief Electoral Officer Umang Narula told Greater Kashmir that the poll body is in the process of finalizing arrangements for counting of votes. The CEO today reviewed the arrangements for counting day with all District Election Officers (DEOs), Superintendents of Police and Returning Officers. The CEO said the counting process will begin in all 28 centers at 8 a.m on Tuesday. 'In all districts except Baramulla, Kupwara and Doda, there would be only one counting centre,' he said. For Baramulla district three counting centers would be established whereas there would be two counting centres each in Kupwara and Doda districts, the CEO said. The counting of migrant votes will be taken up at two centers being established in Delhi and Jammu, Narula said. He, however, added that the counting of migrant votes at Udhampur will take place at main centre of the district. The CEO said that, in line with ECI guidelines, the postal ballots would be taken up for counting first. 'The EVM counting can start only after 30 minutes of the commencement of postal ballot counting,' he said, adding that last but one round of EVM counting shall not be held unless the postal ballot counting is over. The CEO maintained that adequate security arrangements and monitoring mechanism is being put in place at counting centers to ensure transparency in the process. 'There will be one micro-observer at each table to ensure transparency of the process,' he said, adding the whole process will be video-graphed. About the security arrangements, the CEO said three-tier cordoning system should be set up to prevent the entry of unauthorized persons inside the counting premises. The CEO said round-wise results would be announced and shared with all candidates-agents after completion of that round. Sources disclosed that trends will start emerging after 8: 30 a.m on Tuesday and the final picture would be clear by 1: 00 p.m. The CEO has directed to ensure transparency in counting of votes particularly in postal ballot and migrant votes.