Security tightened at medical college, the counting centre

The stage is set for announcement of results of the 16th Lok Sabha elections from Madurai parliamentary constituency, with the counting of votes to begin at 8 a.m. on Friday at the Madurai Medical College here.

Nine-hundred officials will be involved in the counting process which will decide the fate of 31 candidates, including 25 independents, in the fray. Of the total electorate of 14,39,792 in the constituency, 9,76,602 voters exercised their franchise in 1,476 polling booths in the six Assembly segments on April 24, recording a polling percentage of 68.04.

Collector and Returning Officer of the constituency L. Subramanian said here on Thursday that the exercise would begin with the counting of postal votes. “Four tables have been kept ready for the postal votes and they will be counted under the supervision of an Assistant Returning Officer, two counting assistants, counting agents representing each party and one micro observer,” he said.

As many as 3,692 postal ballot forms were issued to officials on poll duty and 1,651 forms had been given to voters serving in the Army, Navy and Air Force. Postal votes would be received till 8 a.m. on Friday.

On Thursday morning, Election Observer (General) Rani Kumuthini inspected the six halls where votes polled in the six Assembly segments would be counted. “Every Assembly segment will have 14 tables and each table will have a counting supervisor, counting assistant, counting agents and a micro observer. Only after the outcome of a round of counting is announced will the next round of counting begin,” said Mr. Subramanian.

Apart from the three-tier security in place, additional police personnel have been deployed at the medical college. Security has been beefed up and all visitors and their vehicles are subjected to thorough checking.

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