1.67 lakh voting machines ready for LS polls: CEO

Chennai: With the political parties all set to face the elections, the Election Commission is setting things right. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo during a press meet at the Secretariat on Thursday said, 86,308 people in Chennai have applied to include their name in the voters list.

He said people can apply to include their names till the election, but only those who have applied 10 days before the date of nominations will be allowed to vote in the Lok Sabha elections.

He added that in the last one month alone 10,14,888 persons have applied to include their names.  Satyabrata said if people want to know their name is in the voters list, they can dial 1950 and if they are not listed they can immediately apply.

“Till December 2018 there were 65,972 polling booths in the State and it has now increased to 67,664. There are high chances of these numbers increasing before the Lok Sabha elections. If there are more than 1,400 voters additional polling booths will be set up,” he said.

He further said about 1.67 lakh voting machines are needed in the State and they are ready now. “Apart from this 91,902 control machines and 88,447 VVPAT machines are also ready now. Around 4,900 voting machines, 4,400 control machines and 16,260 VVPAT machines have been brought from Delhi,” he added.

He also said that 3.36 lakh officials will be involved in the election duty and they will not be posted in their home town.

Satyabrata said during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections 140 company of para military forces were deployed and this time we are planning to bring 200 company.

Satyabrata said the Election Commission had asked the government to allot Rs 414 crore to conduct the polls and the same had been allotted.
“MPs will be allowed to spend Rs 70 lakh and MLAs can spend upto 28 lakh. Usually during election time, several complaints are raised about money being issued to voters, to curb this, flying squads will be in place,” he said.

Satyabrata said people need not worry if their vote has been cast by someone else. They can immediately inform about this to the election officer in the booth with proper proof following which they will be allowed to vote. “If needed this vote will be used during the counting. We are also planning to raise more awareness about this,” he said.
It may be noted that actor Vijay’s Sarkar which released recently was based on this rule.

Following the plastic ban in the State, Satyabrata said the political parties have been asked to restrain from using plastic products including flags during the election campaign. “All district election officials have also been informed about this,” he said.

To keep people informed the election developments, arrangements and announcements, Satyabrata said the Collectors have been asked to conduct press meets every Thursday.

Satyabrata said the government’s special financial of giving Rs 2,000 can continue uninterrupted even after the election dates are announced. He said any scheme that had been implemented before the date of announcement of elections would be considered an ongoing one. No such schemes would be stopped, he clarified.

NT Bureau