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SC tells EC to examine error during Kasaragod mock polls

Errors were observed during mock polling in the Kasaragod constituency of Kerala, prompting the Supreme Court to direct the Election Commission to investigate the matter. At least four electronic voting machines (EVMs) recorded votes erroneously in favor of the BJP. 

SC tells EC to examine error during Kasaragod mock polls anr
First Published Apr 18, 2024, 2:28 PM IST

The Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to investigate errors observed during mock polls in Kerala's Kasaragod constituency on Thursday (April 18). The directive came during a hearing on EVM-VVPAT verification, presided over by a bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta. Advocate Prashant Bhushan raised complaints regarding the mock polls conducted on the EVMs in Kasaragod. With this, the Supreme Court directed the Election Commission to look into the allegations.

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During the mock polling in Kasaragod on Wednesday, April 17, at least four electronic voting machines incorrectly recorded votes in favor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

According to reports, agents from both the UDF and LDF reported that the lotus symbol ceased appearing in the third testing round. Subsequently, in the following round, 1,000 votes were cast on machines that had exhibited errors in the initial two rounds.

During the mock polling conducted from 10 am on Wednesday to 1 am on Thursday, a total of 228 ballot units, 228 control units, and 247 VVPAT units were tested across the 190 booths in the Kasaragod Assembly constituency for the Lok Sabha election. Among these machines, six encountered technical glitches and were set aside for engineers to address.

In the first three rounds of the mock poll, UDF agent Nasser alleged that BJP got votes without polling. While all the candidates got one vote each, the BJP candidate got one more vote in VVPAT. A complaint was lodged with the Assistant Returning Officer in the incident. The problem was solved in the last round.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission claimed that the incident of overvoting for the parties was a technical glitch and it was rectified immediately. However, the report that the BJP got additional votes during the Kasaragod mock poll is false. The Election Commission also said that the Returning Officer has given a report in this regard. The commission also stated that it can provide a detailed report.

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