Postal ballots to be counted first


By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, May 21: Postal ballots would be counted first when votes polled in Outer Manipur PC and Inner Manipur PC are counted on May 23, said Inner Manipur PC RO and Imphal West DC N Praveen.
Speaking to media persons at his Lamphelpat office this afternoon, Praveen said that all preparations have been completed for counting of votes and observers sent by ECI have already arrived.
Randomization of micro observers, supervisors and counting assistants would done at the DC office at 8 am tomorrow. Their counting tables would be assigned in the morning of May 23 before the counting begins, Praveen said.
For Imphal West district, there would be eight counting halls including one reserved for postal ballots.
Counting of votes polled in EVMs would begin 30 minutes after counting of postal ballots has begun, and the entire counting process would be recorded in video, said the RO.
All the postal ballots received through post offices would be examined by four ARO/AERO and all the QR codes would be scanned before counting begins.
Transportation of EVMs from strong rooms to counting halls would be monitored using CCTV cameras and similar cameras would be installed in counting halls too.
Each counting hall would have 10 to 14 tables and there would be three to five rounds of counting, said the  RO adding that a full trial of counting was done today.
There would be no restriction on the staff of CEO’s in going to their office on account of counting of votes on May 23 but staff of other offices located near the DC office must show their identity cards while entering their offices, he said.
Meanwhile, Imphal West SP K Meghachandra said that in addition to Civil Police and State armed police, three companies of Central paramilitary forces would be deployed in and around the counting halls of Imphal West.
Moreover, two anti-terror squads have been formed to respond to any exigency in the course of counting of votes.
In addition to the areas where State security forces are deployed, security forces have been deployed at 18 other areas, Meghachandra said.
He appealed to all the people who would take part in counting votes not to bring guns, knives or pointed objects.
Saying that mobile phones would not be allowed inside counting halls, the SP further appealed to all the people not to indulge in any activity which may disturb public order in the name of celebrating victory in the election.
On the other hand, CEO PK Singh held a video conference with DCs on the counting of votes.
The CEO also went to Thoubal district headquarters today and made a spot assessment of the preparations being done for the counting of votes.
He would make similar spot assessments tomorrow at Imphal West district headquarters, Imphal East district headquarters and Bishnupur district headquarters.