South India

Issue of EVMs showing one extra vote during mock poll in Kasaragod resolved, says EC

The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday said it has resolved the issue of some Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) showing an extra vote during a mock poll in this north Kerala district of the state.

Kasaragod (Kerala): The Election Commission (EC) on Thursday said it has resolved the issue of some Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) showing an extra vote during a mock poll in this north Kerala district of the state.

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The Returning Officer (RO) of Kasaragod Lok Sabha constituency in his letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala said that at the time of “self-checking”, four EVMs printed out an additional slip other than the usual slips.

The RO said that according to the engineers who examined the machines, at the time of printing the standardisation slips, some EVMs were taken to the commissioning table without the printing of the slips being completed.

“When the machines were restarted at the commissioning table, the remaining standardisation slips were printed. That is how the issue was reported at the commissioning table,” the letter said. The issue was resolved by carrying out a mock poll of 1,000 votes using one of the four EVMs and the VVPAT slips were tallied with the machine count.

“Political parties/candidate agents were then convinced and signed the Annexure 22 certificate,” the letter said. Two of the four EVMs were replaced due to technical problems, whereas one machine was commissioned after conducting the mock poll, it said.

“The issue was well explained to political parties and they are all convinced. The Kasaragod LAC successfully completed the commissioning of all machines without any other problem. We have a complete record of the events on CCTV camera,” the letter said.

The letter was sent by the RO to the CEO following complaints that some EVMs were wrongly recording votes in favour of the BJP candidate during the mock poll. Earlier in the day, the EC told the Supreme Court that the allegation of EVMs showing one extra vote during the mock poll in Kasaragod was false.

The submission was made while the apex court was hearing a batch of pleas seeking complete cross-verification of votes cast using EVMs with the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), an independent vote verification system that enables an elector to see whether his/her vote was cast correctly.

CPI (M) leader M V Balakrishnan is contesting against Congress leader and current Kasaragod MP Rajmohan Unnithan and BJP’s M L Ashwini in the constituency for the April 26 Lok Sabha polls.

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