Commissioning of electronic voting machines

The election machinery is racing against time to complete the commissioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 12 centres across the district.

The process began at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday after the EVMs were distributed to assistant returning officers (AROs) from the 14 Assembly constituencies in the district on Saturday. It was supposed to be over by 9 p.m. but was held up after doubts were raised over the size and clarity of the election symbol of A. Sampath, the Left Democratic Front (LDF)’s candidate from the Attingal Lok Sabha constituency.

District Collector and Election Officer Biju Prabhakar said inspections confirmed that the doubts were misplaced and the size and clarity of the symbol was as per norms stipulated by the Election Commission of India. This was conveyed to the representatives of the political parties present. The episode had delayed the process by over an hour. The commissioning was expected to be completed before Sunday midnight, Mr. Prabhakar said.

The commissioning was slated for Saturday. It was postponed to Sunday after the distribution of the machines, which should have been completed by Friday, dragged on to Saturday. The EVMs will be taken to polling stations on April 9.

A squad led by O.T. Uma, ARO, seized a vehicle, banners, and other campaign material from near Girls High School, Parassala, for being used for campaigning without the mandatory permission.