In a bid to exchange knowledge and share experience in election management, 17 members of six South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries will witness the counting process for the Assembly polls in the district on October 19.
The members from Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be briefed on how the elections are conducted and the how counting takes place for the 21 Assembly segments in the district.
“The members will be briefed about the entire election process and counting process on October 18 through a presentation before taking them to counting halls in the city which will see the counting of 11 assembly constituencies at Food Corporation of India godown and Balewadi stadium,” said District Collector and Election Officer Saurabh Rao.
With members keen to understand the process, the ECI decided to showcase it in the state. Pune district has the highest number of voters in the state.
The visitors will be briefed on the counting plan, location of counting for 21 Assembly segments in the district, identification of strongrooms, counting rooms, deployment of polling personnel, role of polling agents and political parties, process of carrying EVMs from strongrooms to counting rooms and vice-versa, how counting is carried out, table-wise rounds, consolidation of figures and tabulation, sealing of EVMs, security needed and video relay of the process.
“We would be happy to showcase the professional approach of counting to these delegates and help them understand the electoral process,’’ said Rao, who has readied a presentation as directed by the ECI. UNDP representatives will visit Pune counting centres ahead of their workshop in Delhi on October 20.
“We have been having these workshops during Lok Sabha elections too where representatives from the Election Commissions of 20 countries witnessed how India manages the world’s largest democratic exercise. During the parliamentary elections, delegates visited Bangalore, Agra, Kolkata and Shimla. The focus was on understanding use of electronic voting machines, efforts to enable greater inclusion of minorities and transgender voting, use of technology, large number of women turning out to vote and massive convergence of administrative machinery for seamless management of electoral process,” stated Nandita Surendran, communication analyst of UNDP.
The aim is to promote exchange of knowledge in election management and administration through the ECI. It supports the newly established India International Institute on Democracy and Electoral Management as a training and resource centre for other countries for capacity development in election management.