Technical glitch delayed postal ballot counting

Correspondent KOHIMA, MAY 23 (NPN) | Publish Date: 5/23/2019 12:49:38 PM IST

Technical glitch in QR code reading delayed counting of electronically transmitted postal ballot service (ETPBS) votes for Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha election for more than three hours here on Thursday.

The postal ballots were counted in the first hour, but due to technical issues with scanning of QR code, the counting was delayed. The postal ballots are allotted for military, government employees and police personnel. 

ETPBS votes are meant to be counted only after QR codes are scanned. 

Nagaland Parliamentary constituency returning officer Motsuthung Patton explained, “There was a technical problem in the Election Commission of India (ECI) server and we had to wait till 11 am, after which they (ECI) received reports through the country. We received authorisation letter from the ECI to follow the guidelines for manual counting.” 

Taking cognizance of the issue, ECI has issued a letter through senior principal secretary KF Wilfred to chief electoral officers of all States and Union Territories. 

In a release, Wilfred stated that as per the instructions on counting ETPB votes, there was pre- QR code problem for verification of the authenticity of the votes and to rule out duplicates. It has been reported that problems are encountered in some places in QR code reading for various reasons, including network problems. In this regard, it stated that the verification was done manually as per ECI guidelines for counting of the service voters.

The scrutiny of service ballot votes started at 11:30 am and finished by 5:30 pm. And out of the 7,490 ETPBS allotted for the State in the Lok Sabha election, 5,295 service votes were received. 

Of the 4,215 votes cast, 1,080 votes were rejected. Congress got 2,251 votes, NDPP 827 votes, NPP 778 votes, Independent candidate 304 votes and 55 opted for NOTA.


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