The State Election Commission on Thursday announced that counting of votes for the Zilla Parishad and municipal corporation elections will be done on the same day.
Elections for 27 district councils and panchayat samitis will be held on February 7 and those for 10 municipal corporations on February 16. Counting for both these elections will now be held on February 17. Immediately after the announcement of the polls last month,all Opposition parties had approached the SEC demanding that counting be held on the same day in order to ensure free and fair elections.
We had to examine various aspects before announcing the decision to conduct counting on same day. The counting for both polls will be done on February 17, said election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan. To ensure this,the SEC will be using 1.3 lakh voting machines procured from the Election Commission of India,26,000 machines of its own and 24,000 machines from the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd.
Due to the multiple voting system in district council and municipal corporations other than Mumbai,SEC would require multiple machines in each voting booth. The commission also had to examine the number of candidates for the District Council (DC) elections. One machine can include 15 candidates and for an additional candidate,another machine will have to made available.
The commission said that 27 experts were called in to examine the machines. The examination revealed that close to four to five per cent machines were faulty and could not be used. After ensuring sufficient availability of machines,the commission has announced the decision to conduct counting on same day.