Friday, 16 May 2014

Battle of the Ballots

May 16, 2014: The battle for 16th Lok Sabha elections ends with the results on 16th May, 2014 – a day that will go down the history books as a day that translated the dreams of many into reality. Results on the counting day of 16th May – a make or break day for many – and the many include the leaders on top to their supporters at the ground root level. The celebration of the biggest democracy of 16th Lok Sabha Elections Polls conducted in 9 phases from 7th April to 12th May, is expected to touch new heights with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Indian National Congress as front runner opponents while other parties also have several expectations with the results day.
We take a look at the unfolding of events on the results day on 16th May:

5 a.m. – 16th May, 2014
The counting of votes would begin from 8 am in the morning at 989 centres across the country. The preparation for the counting of votes begins as early as 5 am early in the morning. This would take place in the presence of District Election Officer and observers will randomly select counting officials. This selection can be done manually or with the use of technology i.e. computers.

6 a.m. – 16th May, 2014
Around 6 a.m. the posting lists sorted constituency wise will be handed over to the returning officer. At this point the counting officials will position themselves for the counting and has to remain at the seat. In case of any emergency they can be replaced by officials from the ‘reserved pool’ under the orders of District Election Officer or Returning Officer.

8 a.m. – 16th May, 2014
The counting would begin for the postal ballots first. After the counting of them is done, half an hour later the counting of EVM ballot unit may begin as stated by EC officials. The counting of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) will begin at 8.30 a.m.
According to Election Commission officials the trends favouring the single largest party to emerge victorious in the 16th Lok Sabha Polls would emerge by 11 a.m.
Election Commission has given the contesting candidates permission to be present at the counting booth sans any of their security guards. The candidates that have been allotted with Special Protection Group (SPG) cover will be allowed inside with one guard in plain clothes with only “one concealed arms.”
Each and every counting table has to be surrounded by either a transparent wire mesh or bamboo sticks basically to have wide gaps enough to ensure view for the counting agents to witness the counting process. Each candidate can post any number of counting agents at the booth.
The Election Commission has also stated that about 50 foreign delegates from 20 countries are being facilitated to witness the 16th Lok Sabha Elections.
The first trends should start pouring in from 8.30 a.m. onwards and the final results would be out between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.