- The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued directions to the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of all the States and Union Territories that the Electronic Voting Machines(EVM) and postal ballot counting can be done simultaneously.
- The EC said that once the EVM counting is completed,the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail(VVPAT) slips counting can start as per the prescribed procedure.
- The ECI has said that with the introduction of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) and casting of postal ballot by election duty staff at the facilitation centre, the number of postal ballot papers for counting has gone up considerably.
- Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) is developed by Election Commission of India with the help of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) for the use of the Service Voters.
- This system enables the entitled service voters to cast their vote using an electronically received postal ballot from anywhere outside their constituency. The voters who make such a choice will be entitled for Postal Ballot delivered through Electronic Media for a particular election.
- Service voters are those who have service qualification.They include (a)member of Armed Forces of the Union of India (b)members of Armed Police forces of the States serving outside that state (c)a person employed under the Government of India,serving outside India and (d) member of a force to which provision of the Army Act 1950 have been made applicable
- Further,the EC has also said that when the margin of victory is less than the number of postal ballot papers rejected as invalid at the time of counting, all the rejected postal ballot papers will be mandatorily re-verified by the Returning Officer before declaration of result.
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