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VVPAT counting booths prepared in Meghalaya
Staff Correspondent
 SHILLONG, May 21 - A special VVPAT counting booth has been created in every counting hall of the State to match the VVPAT slips with the results during the vote count of the Parliamentary election, slated for Thursday.

Meghalaya Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Fredrick Roy Kharkongor said that in the event of any discrepancy between the EVM results and the VVPAT slips, recounting would take place.

“However, if the VVPAT slips do not match even after recounting, the VVPAT figure will prevail over the results of the machines,” the CEO said.

As per the directive of the Election Commission, five booths will be randomly selected from each constituency and the VVPAT slips will be matched with the results of the EVMs. VVPAT slips from 350 polling booths will be counted in the State, which is expected to take some time before the results are declared.

In the previous Parliamentary elections, one booth was chosen for tallying of VVPAT slips from each Assembly segment. But since different political parties wanted VVPATs from more booths to be counted, the Supreme Court recently directed that VVPATs from five booths would be matched with the results on the machines. The CEO said the specially prepared VVPAT counting booths would be manned by counting officials.

During the counting, micro observers and counting assistants will also be present to help the process. Counting agents from political parties will be present in the booths so that they can monitor the counting.

“All arrangements have been made for the counting of votes. We are on the track for the counting day,” Kharkongor said. There will be a three-tier security cover with the first ring being manned by paramilitary forces, followed by the State and district police.

It may be mentioned here that the fate of nine candidates will be decided in the two Lok Sabha seats of the State. There are six candidates for the Shillong seat, where the triangular fight is among Jemino Mawthoh of the UDP, Sanbor Shullai of the BJP and sitting Congress candidate Vincent Pala.

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