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Accused of delay, Election Commission clears air on turnout data drill | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Overall voter turnout data for first two phases of LS poll, which was officially released by the Election Commission on Tuesday, is the same as what was collated from the parliamentary constituency-wise polling figures reflected in EC’s voter turnout app on April 20 evening for Phase 1 and April 27 evening for Phase 2, according to EC sources.
Sources in the poll body told TOI that copies of Form 17C — which statutorily records voter turnout at every polling station in absolute number at end of polling — are shared by the presiding officers with all present polling agents of the candidates in the interest of transparency.After close of poll, first priority of the presiding officer is to return to headquarters and deposit the electronic voting machines and all statutory and non-statutory papers.
Due to late arrival of polling parties or difficult geographical or weather conditions, returning officers have time available till midnight to fill up estimated voter turnout in the VTA. Such updation in many cases is not complete even till midnight as some parties from the remote polling stations may take more time to return.
Thus it is only on the next day after polling (P+1), and in some cases two days after polling (P+2) that the returning officers scrutinise Form 17C, including any complaints and concerns, in the presence of candidates and their agents and enter the polling station-wise voter turnout data.
Even this data may further get updated for any constituency where repoll is being conducted, on conclusion of repoll and arrival of parties.
After complete data entry, the returning officers submit the consituencywise data which is instantly visible on voter turnout app.
This time for both the phases, the polling station wise data was submitted on P+1 day. So while the voter turnout shown by the app at 12 midnight on April 19 and April 26 was 65.4%and 65.37% respectively, the updated data submitted after all Form 17 records were scrutinised the evening after polling day, was 66.14% for Phase 1 and 66.71% for Phase 2.
“There was absolutely no delay in such disclosure on poll day…the narrative about non-disclosure of data is completely unfounded and misplaced, without proper appreciation of the system in place,” a senior EC functionary told TOI.
The functionary further added: “Leave alone constituency, even booth data of votes polled is available with the candidates for all the booths under a constituency and cannot be changed at any stage. Candidates use this data of votes polled polling station-wise to keep check on the counting day.

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