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Election 2024: ECI's Explanation Raises Questions On Vote Count Discrepancies

The Election Commission (ECI) on Thursday addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding discrepancies between the votes polled and votes counted in the recent 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The clarification came after a user on social media platform X alleged significant discrepancies, sometimes amounting to thousands, between the total votes cast on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and […]

Election 2024: ECI's Explanation Raises Questions On Vote Count Discrepancies
Election 2024: ECI's Explanation Raises Questions On Vote Count Discrepancies

The Election Commission (ECI) on Thursday addressed the ongoing controversy surrounding discrepancies between the votes polled and votes counted in the recent 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The clarification came after a user on social media platform X alleged significant discrepancies, sometimes amounting to thousands, between the total votes cast on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and the total votes counted.

Reasons for Discrepancies

Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer responded, detailing that such differences can arise due to specific protocols in place. According to the poll body, votes from some polling stations are not counted if:

  1. Mock Poll Data Issues: The Presiding Officer fails to clear mock poll data from the Control Unit before starting the actual poll or does not remove mock poll slips from the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).
  2. Form 17-C Mismatch: There is a mismatch between the total votes polled in the Control Unit and the record in Form 17-C prepared by the Presiding Officer due to an error.

These votes are only counted at the end if their total is equal to or greater than the margin between the first and second candidates. If the total is lower than the margin, these votes are not counted, leading to observed differences between votes polled by EVMs and votes counted, explained the Election Commission.

Close Contests and Margins

The counting of votes for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was completed on Tuesday. According to the Election Commission of India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) secured 240 seats, and with its allies, reached a total of 293 seats. The opposition alliance, INDIA bloc, garnered over 230 seats in the new parliament, with the Congress party’s tally reaching 100 after independent MP Vishal Patil extended his support.

In several constituencies, results were determined by narrow margins. One of the closest contests was in the Mumbai North West constituency in Maharashtra, where Ravindra Dattaram Waikar of Shiv Sena edged out Amol Gajanan Kirtikar of Shiv Sena (UBT) by a mere 48 votes. Another tight race occurred in Kerala’s Attingal constituency, where Adoor Prakash of the Indian National Congress (INC) narrowly defeated V Joy of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) by 684 votes.

Public Reaction

The clarification by the Election Commission (ECI) comes in response to widespread public concern and discussions on social media. The allegations of discrepancies had sparked debates about the integrity of the electoral process, with some users expressing outrage while others found the explanations satisfactory.

As the Election Commission(ECI) continues to address these concerns, the focus remains on ensuring transparency and accuracy in the electoral process, reinforcing the faith of the electorate in the democratic system.

Tags:

2024 Lok Sabha electionElection Commission of India (ECI)Electronic Voting Machinestotal votes countedVote Count Discrepanciesvotes polled