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Lok Sabha Elections 2024| Release authenticated voter turnout figures immediately: Civil society activists urge EC

The delegation comprising activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Ashok Sharma, Shabnam Hashmi, Navsharan Singh and Amrita Johri met the EC and handed over a petition endorsed by over 4,000 people raising the demand.
hemin Joy
Last Updated : 14 May 2024, 13:11 IST
Last Updated : 14 May 2024, 13:11 IST

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New Delhi: A group of activists on Tuesday approached the Election Commission urging it to upload an official account of votes recorded in every polling station on its website, saying public trust in the electoral process is key to ensure robust functioning of democracy.

The delegation comprising activists Anjali Bhardwaj, Ashok Sharma, Shabnam Hashmi, Navsharan Singh and Amrita Johri met the EC and handed over a petition endorsed by over 4,000 people raising the demand.

They demanded the EC should disclose authenticated records of voter turnout figures as contained in Part I of Form 17C.

They told the EC that there was an inordinate delay in the release of voter turnout, coupled with the unusually high revision (of nearly 6 percentage points) sans any explanation in its press note of April 30, has "raised concerns and doubts" among people about the voter turnout figures.

On April 19 when the first phase of polling took place, the delegation said, the EC issued a press release at 7 PM saying the estimated turnout was around 60 per cent but 11 days later, the data published by it showed 66.71 per cent.

"Public trust in the electoral process is key to ensure robust functioning of our democracy. We, therefore, urge the ECI to immediately upload on the Commission’s website a scanned legible copy of Part I of Form 17C (Account of Votes Recorded) of every polling station where voting took place in the first three phases. Further, for the remaining phases, this information must be publicly displayed on the ECI website within 48 hours of the close of polls," the petition said.

In addition to uploading a scanned copy of the forms, it said, a tabulation of the constituency and polling station wise figures of voter turnout in absolute numbers must also be publicly displayed on the EC website.

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear on May 17 a plea of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) seeking a direction to the EC to upload polling station-wise voter turnout data on its website within 48 hours of conclusion of polling for each phase of the Lok Sabha elections.

Last week, it had filed an interim application in its 2019 PIL seeking directions to the poll panel that "scanned legible copies of Form 17C Part-I (Account of Votes Recorded)" of all polling stations be uploaded immediately after the polls.

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Published 14 May 2024, 13:11 IST

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