Gangtok, 16 Apr:
Chief Electoral Officer, R Telang , today informed that while malfunctioning EVMs caused delays at some polling stations on 11 April, the numbers were still much lower than such hiccups reported from other states where polling was also held the same day.
Mock polls at some polling stations also took longer than expected and that too led to some delays, he explained.
It may be recalled that several complaints of delays had circulated on social media on the day of elections and many see this as one of the reasons why the voting percentage fell in Sikkim this time. The State registered around 78% voter turn-out this year against the 83% turnout recorded in 2014. Many believe that interested voters returned home without casting their votes due to the extremely slow voting process at their booths.
The District Election Officer, East, it may be recalled, while thanking the personnel and the people for a peaceful election, had also admitted to “some delays and mistakes” on polling day and apologised for the same while pointing out that a 78% turn-out was still a healthy figure.
When asked about details of malfunctioning EVMs, the CEO informed SummitTimes today that during mock poll, 11 balloting units, 22 control units and 28 VVPATs were replaced. During actual poll, a further nine balloting units, nine control units and 48 VVPATs were replaced.
There was only around 4% replacement in total in the State which is very low compared to the national scenario, the CEO pointed out.
He also added that there were delays reported at polling stations which had more than 1,200 voters due to the sheer numbers there.
As for complaints, the CEO informed that the Election Commission has not received any official complaints on the polling process from any political party. He added that some political parties have, however, asked for some data and information which the Commission has already asked the concerned Returning Officers to furnish.