TAMIL NADU

EC to intensify checks on polling stations

Special Correspondent

To identify those prone to electoral abuse in subtle manner

CHENNAI: The Election Commission has intensified checks to identify polling stations that are prone to electoral abuse in a subtle and concealed manner, Naresh Gupta, Chief Electoral Officer, said here on Thursday.

Besides the presiding officer’s diary, which is crucial in this process, the visit sheets, diaries maintained by patrolling/zonal officers, record of voter image and a complaint register of the district control room will also form part of multiple sources for gathering evidence in the event of any untoward incident in a polling station.

Mr.Gupta said this exercise would be carried out under a close supervision of observers, returning officers and district election officers.

The CEO listed eight reasons for invoking ‘abuse’ provision in polling stations where rigging/malpractice was ‘significant’ in any polling station; mock polling took place in the absence of any polling agent or in the presence of agent of only one candidate; the number of electors who cast their votes using documents other than EPIC exceeded a certain percentage of the total votes cast in a polling station; more than 10 per cent of electors identified as ‘shifted/absent’ turned up to vote; the polling percentage was plus or minus a certain percentage of the average polling percentage of that Assembly constituency; the remarks column in the register of voters did not indicate the name and number of EPIC or alternative identification documents permitted by the Commission; and in polling stations where tender vote/challenged vote was reported.

Mr. Gupta said that the scrutiny for the ‘abuse’ provisions would take place at 11 a.m. a day after the polls.

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