All arrangements, including three-tier security measures, are in place at the counting station for the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency at the Chinmaya Institute of Technology (Chintech) at Chala here.
District Collector Mir Mohammed Ali, who is Returning Officer (RO) for the Kannur constituency, said at a press conference here on Wednesday that the Observers appointed by the Election Commission in the constituency had reached here.
While CRPF personnel would man the security arrangements inside the counting halls, armed police personnel would be deployed outside the halls and local police would ensure the outer ring security of the counting station.
The counting would start at 8 a.m. and postal ballots would be counted before the Electronic Voting Machines from 1,172 polling stations in the constituency. Seven separate counting halls had been arranged for counting the votes of EVMs from the seven Assembly segments, Mr. Ali said, adding that each hall had 14 tables, each one being manned by a counting supervisor, counting assistant, and a micro observer. Arrangements were also under way for announcing the tally of each round of counting from the 14 tables, he added.
As many as 1,300 employees including supporting staff had been appointed for the counting duties. Agents of the candidates had also been appointed, Mr. Ali said. While paper slips of five randomly selected booths in each Assembly segment would be counted, snags or malfunctioning of EVMs might require counting of slips from additional VVPAT machines, he said. If a candidate raised some doubt about counted votes with evidence, he or she could request to the RO for VVPAT counting. If there was mismatch in counted votes, the VVPAT count would get priority, he added.
He said that mobile phones would not be allowed inside the counting station. A media cell with video wall was arranged for announcing leads, he said.