Chennai

Security tightened ahead of counting of votes in R.K. Nagar

All arrangements are in place for the counting of votes on Sunday at the Queen Mary’s College for the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar bypoll. Security has been beefed up in various parts of the city, officials said.

“The by-election will have 19 rounds of counting. Randomisation of counting personnel will be done early in the morning,” said an official of the Chennai District Election Office. During the last byelection, the counting process was completed in 17 rounds. The process is expected to start at 8 a.m. and each round is likely to be completed in 15-20 minutes. Central government employees will serve as micro-observers at each of the 14 counting tables.

Instead of the usual data entry in the Election Commission of India’s Genesys software for the dissemination of trends and results, the District Election Office has developed a separate software. “Even if the software fails to work for some reason, the counting will not be stopped and the declaration of results will not be withheld,” said an official.

Greater transparency

“We have taken efforts towards greater transparency in the counting process. Information on each of the rounds of counting will be communicated immediately,” said an official.

Only persons authorised by the Election Commission of India will be allowed inside the counting centre. Those entering, including agents, will not be permitted to take any material, such as food packets inside. “The returning officer will even regulate food distribution. Such persons have to inform the official,” said an official.

Over 500 police personnel from the city police, Armed Police and plainclothes personnel have been deployed for bandobust duty around the college. Two companies of Central paramilitary forces have been posted at the location.

“All arrangements have been made to ensure that counting is concluded safely,” a senior official said.

Fire brigade and health staff will be deployed, in addition to 150 election staff and police personnel. Traffic will be regulated on Kamarajar Salai, said an official.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 5:06:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/security-tightened-ahead-of-counting-of-votes-in-rk-nagar/article22270050.ece

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