The counting of votes will begin at 8:00 am sharp – electronic voting machines (EVMs) will be opened up for 542 parliamentary constituencies where voting was held. Polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore was cancelled due to the huge seizure of cash from a contestant.
On Thursday, as the votes are counted, the fate of more than 8,000 candidates will be known. When the votes are taken up for counting tomorrow, postal ballots would be counted first. While the picture normally becomes clear by late afternoon, this time the results are expected only by late evening. This is because VVPAT (voter verified paper audit trail) slips will have to be tallied with EVMs.
It will be for the first time in Lok Sabha election history that EVM results will be matched with VVPAT slips. The exercise will be undertaken in five polling stations per Assembly seat – this figure turns out to be some 10.3 lakh polling stations in total and EVM-VVPAT matching will be held in 20,600 such stations.
During the seven-phased Lok Sabha Elections that started on April 11 and concluded on May 19, a total of 67.11 per cent of the 90.99 crore eligible voters cast their votes. India has never witnessed this high voter turnout in General Elections.
According to an Election Commission official, a couple of hours will be spent on the counting of postal ballots manually. The VVPAT slips will be counted in the end.
As per the procedure, slips will be counted first and then matched with the EVM results. If there is a mismatch, VVPAT count will be considered as final.
Officials said the matching of EVM-VVPAT slips will consume an additional four to five hours.