Tamil Nadu

Repoll in Velachery booth on Saturday

The Election Commission on Tuesday ordered a repoll in polling station no. 92 in the Velachery Assembly constituency on April 17. It declared the polling held on April 6 at this station “void” under Sections 58 (1)(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Fresh polling will be held between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

On April 6, an Electronic Voting Machine, a control unit, and a Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) unit were found in unauthorised possession of an employee of the Greater Chennai Corporation. The EVM and the VVPAT unit were being taken to a counting centre and two more employees had accompanied him. The decision was based on the reports of the Returning Officer and the Observers, and the consideration of materials and circumstances. The repoll would be held in accordance with the Election Commission’s instructions contained in Chapter-XIII of the Handbook for Returning Officers.

The Election Commission directed the Returning Officer to give wide publicity to the repoll in the polling areas and inform the parties and the candidates in writing. “Adequate security may be deployed at these polling stations to ensure free, fair and peaceful conduct of re-poll.”

The incident came to light after these men fell from their motorcycles and people noticed the EVM and the VVPAT unit. The Opposition parties and members of the public staged a protest demanding the arrest of the three persons.

However, the Returning Officer said the EVM and the VVPAT unit were in the reserve category, and not used for polling. Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo had said a preliminary verbal inquiry revealed a mistake on the part of two employees. On Friday, he said the VVPAT unit was used for 50 minutes and registered 15 votes.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 1:29:30 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/tamil-nadu-assembly/repoll-in-velachery-booth-on-saturday/article34314282.ece

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