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Election duty orders distributed

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FOR poll duty: Additional Collector and Returning Officer for Arakkonam constituency A. Suganthi reading out the names of presiding officers at Thanthai Periyar E.V.R. Government Polytechnic, Vellore, on Tuesday.
FOR poll duty: Additional Collector and Returning Officer for Arakkonam constituency A. Suganthi reading out the names of presiding officers at Thanthai Periyar E.V.R. Government Polytechnic, Vellore, on Tuesday.

Special Correspondent

About 8,000 government teachers and officials throng polytechnic from 6.30 a.m.

VELLORE: The Collector and District Electoral Officer (DEO) of Vellore district, C. Rajendran, and the Collector and DEO for Tiruvannamalai district, M. Rajendran, undertook a marathon exercise of handing over election duty orders to government teachers and government officials enrolled to officiate as presiding officers and polling officers-1 & 2 and other duty staff for the 2,752 polling stations in Vellore district at Thanthai Periyar E.V.R. Government Polytechnic here on Tuesday.

The poll officers were to have been given the orders during a third training class at the specified venues in the respective Assembly segments to which they have been posted on Monday. Owing to computer problems, the exercise got delayed and could not be completed. Only a small percentage of the officers got their orders. But, Mr. C. Rajendran announced that all the orders issued on Monday were cancelled and fresh orders would be issued at the polytechnic for all the officers drafted for duty in the 13 Assembly segments in Vellore district at the polytechnic on Tuesday.

He said in a press release that as per the rules of the Election Commission (EC), the duty orders had to be given in the presence of the Returning Officers.

Mr. C. Rajendran is the Returning Officer for the Vellore Lok Sabha Constituency. Mr. M. Rajendran was also present at the polytechnic in his capacity as the Returning Officer for the Tiruvannamalai Lok Sabha Constituency which included two Assembly segments - Tirupattur and Jolarpet - falling in Vellore district.

The Additional Collector, Vellore and Returning Officer for the Arakkonam Lok Sabha Constituency, A. Suganthi, was also present to hand over the duty orders to the presiding and polling officers from polling stations in that constituency.

About 8,000 government teachers and officials thronged the Thanthai Periyar Government Polytechnic from 6.30 a.m.

Polling officers said that the authorities had made satisfactory arrangements for the distribution of duty orders at the polytechnic on Tuesday. Food arrangements were made and those who received their orders were transported to their destination polling stations on special buses. The exercise went on till late in the night. While most of the officers were issued duty orders, others were kept as ‘reserve’ and asked to go over to the respective taluk offices to get the duty orders. Many teachers went to the taluk offices to receive their duty orders.

One of the teachers who was posted as a presiding officer in the Vaniyambadi Assembly segment told this correspondent that the EC should take steps to perfect the system of providing training to the presiding and polling officers in handling the electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Pointing out that only three EVMs were available for the training of as many as 300 officers in a training class, he said that many officers could not get themselves properly acquainted with various activities connected with the handling of the EVMs such as connecting the battery, sealing the ballot units, etc. Training was given only once in five years or whenever elections were to be held.

He suggested that the EC conduct training programmes for government teachers and officials desirous of doing poll duty during summer vacation and give them certificates to the effect that they were eligible for being posted for poll duty. The EC should evolve a perfect system for training of officers in poll duty, especially the handling of EVMs , he said.

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