: A few hours after daybreak on Friday, people will be knowing who will be their ruler as the counting of votes polled on May 7 for the Lok Sabha and State Assembly takes place.

Counting of votes commences at 8 a.m. and the postal ballot polled by government officers, employees, police personnel and other engaged in the election process, would be counted first before the EVMs are opened to count the votes polled by people across the district.

Postal ballot of more than 9,000 voters would be taken up for counting. Postal ballot received till one hour before counting process starts, would also be taken up for counting. This figure was only about one fifth of the postal ballot issued for the staff.

Counting of votes polled for three Lok Sabha constituencies of Visakhapatnam, Anakapalle and Araku and the 15 Assembly segments in the district would be held at different venues in the city. Counting of votes for S. Kota segment in Vizianagaram district, which falls under Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency, would take place in Viziangaram.

Votes polled for Lok Sabha and Assembly segments would be counted simultaneously. The Araku Lok Sabha constituency is spread over four districts including Araku Valley and Paderu Assembly segments of Visakhapatnam district. Votes polled for Assembly and Lok Sabha in these two segments would be counted here. Votes polled in other segments would be counted in their respective districts.

All arrangements are in place for counting and District Election Officer and Collector S. Solomon Arokia Raj inspected the counting centres on Thursday to make sure that all arrangements were in place.

Trends were expected around 10 a.m. and the counting might be completed around 2 p.m.

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