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Chennai: ECI Gears Up for Counting of Votes

Chennai: The Election Commission of India has started the preparations for the counting of votes polled in the Lok Sabha elections and in Tamil Nadu, too, the Chief Electoral Officer, Satyabrata Sahoo, has begun the work by interacting with officials at all levels.

Sahoo announced on Monday that 38,500 persons would be engaged in the counting of votes on Tuesday, June 4, and the process would unfold on 3,300 tables laid out at various centres across the State under the glare of the CCTV cameras.

Postal votes would be taken up for counting at 8 am on Tuesday and the seals on the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be opened by 8.30 am, he said.

All the 39 constituencies in the State went to polls on April 19, along with the neighboring Union Territory of Puducherry, in the first phase of elections and the polled EVMs had been kept in high security locked chambers at the various counting centres.

Apart from protection to the storage rooms provided by three levels of security personnel, including armed personnel from the Central Armed Security Forces and also the local police, representatives of political parties are also keeping a close vigil on the strong rooms.

Since the political party agents, who come on shifts to watch over the strong rooms from the spots designated for them, monitor the images captured by the CCTV cameras that are fitted not only outside the strong rooms but also inside of them, there had been a few instances of them complaining about the cameras conking out.

But so far there had been no security breach reported from any of the counting centres. On counting day, the strong rooms would be opened amidst tight security and the EVMs brought to the counting tables and the seal would be opened in the presence of the agents of the candidates.

Sahoo, who had been holding online meetings with both the Election Commission of India officers in Delhi and also with all the district electoral officers, has now got set for the day making all preparations for the process to start.

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