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National News

May 20, 2019
9:06PM

Counting of votes for Lok Sabha, 4 state assemblies to take place on May 23

Representational pic
With only two days left for the results of the 17th Lok Sabha elections, preparations are in full swing in all the states for smooth conduct of the counting process. Counting of votes for Lok Sabha and four state assemblies- Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Odisha- will take place on Thursday.

In Nagaland, district collectors and the concerned officials are inspecting the counting arrangements. Election to the State’s lone Lok Sabha seat was held in the first phase on 11th April along with the by-election to Aonglenden Assembly constituency.

AIR correspondent reports that people from all sections of the society in Nagaland came out to cast their votes in the recently concluded polls. However, the enthusiasm of the young people and the first time voters were witnessed in this election. For the first time, Braille Dummy Ballot Sheets and Braille Voters’ Slip were introduced in polling stations across the state to enable visually challenged voters to exercise their franchise.

With just three days to go for the state to know who will be elected as its representative to the Lower house of the Parliament, the State Chief Election Commission is also all geared up and preparation is on full swing in all the districts for smooth conduct of the counting process.

As per the instruction from the Election Commission of India, five Polling stations will be randomly selected for verification of VVPAT slip. So far, twenty observers have been appointed for the day.

Media cells has also been set up in all the districts under the supervision of the District Administrations. On the counting day, there will be three tier security arrangements whereby, Central Armed Police Forces will be guarding the inner most cordon, while the first and second tier will be manned by the state police, and Indian Reserve Battalion.

Besides, necessary trainings were also imparted to all the counting personnel deployed in the districts along with the Assistant ROs who will be supervising the counting process.
 
In Goa, a noticeable feature of the elections was the large participation of persons with disabilities, in line with the Election Commission’s motto of 'No Voter Be Left Behind'. Around 7,500 divyangs are registered as voters in Goa. AIR correspondent reports that special drives to sensitize polling staff for appropriate treatment of people with disabilities were undertaken in Goa.

Focused training sessions including basic sign language introduction were provided to divyang voters. Arrangements such as wheel chairs, manual magnifiers, Braille ballot papers and ramps were made at all polling booths.

Divyangs were provided a special badge for identification for smooth access to polling stations, free wheel-chair taxi services were provided and dedicated officials were posted at each booth. Moreover, two polling stations were entirely managed by persons with disabilities.

These initiatives made high participation of divyangs a highlight of the election process, with 101 of the 115 registered voters among persons with disability casting their vote in the Panaji bypoll on 19th May.

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