Mock data not erased before polls, RO tells EC

The election staff, after conducting the mock polling on the election day, had failed to erase this data before going ahead with actual polling. DH File Photo

The credibility of polling process has come under serious doubt with the returning officer of Chikkodi Lok Sabha constituency taking serious note of the lapses by election staff.

The election staff, after conducting the mock polling on the election day, had failed to erase this data before going ahead with actual polling. The Returning officer (RO) has sent a detailed report to the Election Commissioner of India seeking for further action.

It is exactly not known in how many polling booths such blunders have taken place. However, the lapse came to the fore during the post polling scruitiny after the election officials informed about it to the polling agents to take them into confidence.

Sources told DH that this blunder is not confined to one constituency. Such lapses have also taken place in Bangalore North constituency and in Udupi-Chikkamagaluru seat, the sources said.

DH report

Belagavi District Kannada Organisation Action Committee president Ashok Chandargi expressed shock over the blunder after DH published an article ‘Blunder by polling officials cause concern’ over the lapses in the polling process, in the respective edition.

Chandargi said, “It is really shocking, the blunder created by polling staff is unacceptable after they underwent training”.

The dereliction in duty on the part of the presiding officer and other election officials was of serious nature, he said.

The EC should ensure that it randomly counts votes in at least 25 of the EVMs and VVPAT machines in each of the Assembly constituencies, to clear the air about
‘more active’ involvement of polling staff in the election process. 

Social activist B R Sangoppagol said the lapse should be thoroughly reviewed so that injustice is not meted out to any of the candidates.

Congress rural district unit president Vinay Navalgatti urged for a thorough inquiry into the lapses before announcing the results of all the constituencies.

Opposition chief whip in the Council Mahantesh Kavatagimath said, “the lapses are highly condemnable. The Election Commission should come out clear on how it will rectify the blunder. The BJP’s legal cell will seriously
look into the matter and submit objections to the EC,” he said.

Returning officer Dr K V Rajendra told DH that details of votes polled after mock polling have been sealed in black envelopes, which will help resolve the issue. A detailed report has been sent to the EC, he said.

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