Guwahati: The Election machinery in the state of Assam under the respective District Election Officers and Returning Officers is fully geared up for the Counting Day of General Election to Assam Legislative Assembly-2021 to be held on May 2, 2021.
All arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the counting process. DEOs of 50 Election Districts have completed all arrangements for the Counting Day under the following guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
This time, due to Covid-19 protocol, the number of counting tables in each counting hall has been restricted to 7 Tables. This is to maintain social distance inside the Counting Hall.
There is an increase of 34.71% in the number of Polling Stations over the number of Polling Stations in the 2016 Assembly Elections.
It is partly due to the provision of 5325 numbers of Auxiliary Polling Stations set up in the current elections. Hence, there will be more EVM machines to be counted this time. Accordingly, counting rounds will also increase this time, due to several factors including large number of postal ballots received, counting of VVPAT slips and restricted number of counting tables despite considerable increase in the number of counting halls.
Due to these factors, counting of votes will take more time compared to earlier elections. The number of rounds will be varying from minimum around 10 rounds to around 33 rounds for each LAC, depending on the number of Polling Stations and Counting Tables.
Also, the RAT test has been made mandatory for candidates, counting agents and counting personnel and media personnel involved in the Counting process. 70.67% counting agents have already undergone COVID test as on April 30, 2021.
No candidates/agents will be allowed inside the counting hall without undergoing RAT test or without having 2 doses of vaccination against Covid-19 and will have to produce Negative RAT report or Vaccination reports within 48 hours of start of counting. The DEO shall make arrangement of RAT Test to Candidates/Counting agents before the day of Counting.
Face shields, Masks, Sanitizer and also PPE kit will invariably be available in the Counting Hall. Everyone entering the counting venue will have to undergo Thermal Screening, wear Face Masks and Face Shields.
The ECI has also banned all victory processions on or after the result day. Not more than two (2) persons will accompany the winning candidate or his/her authorized representative to collect the certificate of election from the Returning Officer concerned.
Strong security measures have been taken to ensure smooth conduct of the Counting process. The linkage between Strong Room and Counting Hall will be maintained with strict security to avoid any untoward situation. There will be three tiers of security in respect of the counting venues.
It is to be noted that the Counting process will begin from 8 am onwards. Results will be displayed on the ECI website – https://results.eci.gov.in and will be updated every few minutes to display the current round-wise trends and results of every constituency.