Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections is just a few hours away. This time over 8,000 candidates contested in 542 constituencies. The results of this Lok Sabha election are expected only by late evening and due to tallying of voter verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) slips with EVM count for the first time.
Around 67.11 per cent of the 90.99 crore electors had cast their vote in the seven-phase election. This is the highest ever-voter turnout in Indian parliamentarian elections, reported Election Commission of India.
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The exercise will take place in five polling stations per assembly segment which effectively means that out of nearly 10.3 lakh polling stations, the EVM-VVPAT matching will take place in 20,600 such stations.
As per the norms, postal ballots would be the first to be counted. Out of 18 lakh registered voters, 16.49 lakh have sent their postal ballots to their respective returning officers as on May 17.
The exercise of counting postal ballots manually will itself take a couple of hours at least, an EC official said.
The paper trail machines slips will be counted in the end.
As per the procedure, first the slips will be counted and the EVM displays would be switched on later to match the results.
In case of a mismatch, the results based in paper slip count will be considered as final.
The entire exercise of EVM-Paper trail machine matching will take an additional four to five hours.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several union ministers, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav are among key leaders who contested the polls.
(With PTI inputs)