Poll staff get a rude shock, no votes at assigned booth

Poll staff get a rude shock, no votes at assigned booth

Photo for representational purpose only

Kulwinder Sandhu

Tribune News Service

Moga, February 14

In a first, an election team deployed by the returning officer to conduct the civic elections in the city was at the last moment asked to return along with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other material as there were no votes in the polling booth assigned to them.

List not updated

The administration shifted the votes to other wards as per the government and EC rules. The list was mistakenly not updated and the returning officer assigned duties in routine. — Sandeep Hans, DM

As per the details available, when the officials went to booth No. 42 of ward No. 16 here to conduct the polls, they learnt there were no votes in the booth. They reported the matter to the returning officer. They were later shifted to the reserve team of polling officials. The district administration maintained the votes of booth No. 42 were shifted from ward No. 16 to two other wards — 24 and 25 — since the number of votes in these wards was very less.

As per the voters’ list, prepared on the basis of an updated list of February 2020, Moga city has 1,14,820 voters. Going by the calculation, the average votes in each of the 50 wards comes down to around 2,296, with a variation of 10 per cent, as per the “Delimitation of Wards of Municipal Corporation Order, 1995”. However, the total votes in ward No. 23 were 849, followed by ward No. 24 (909 votes), 25 (975), 35 (1,009) and 16 (3,908).

When the Opposition cried foul, alleging the Congress had reconstituted the wards in an irrational manner to win elections, the district administration carried out a fresh delimitation exercise and corrected the mistake. It was in this exercise that the votes of booth No. 42 in ward No. 16 were shifted to ward Nos. 24 and 25.

Accordingly, the booth concerned of ward No. 16 was scrapped by the administration, but it was not updated.

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