For the first time in Lok Sabha polls, the EC will tally vote count on Electronic Voting Machines with voter verified paper audit trail slips in five polling stations in each assembly segment of a parliamentary constituency.
It will effectively mean that out of nearly 10.3 lakh polling stations, the EVM-VVPAT matching will take place in 20,600 such stations. In case of a mismatch, the results based on 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, EC officials said. They said the voting percentage of 67.11 this time was the highest ever-voter turnout in Indian parliamentary elections.
They said according to procedure, postal ballots would be the first to be counted. The number of service voters stands at 18 lakh and these include personnel of the armed forces, central police force personnel and state police personnel who are posted outside their constituencies. Diplomats and support staff posted in Indian embassies abroad are also counted as service voters.
Out of the 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.
Out of the 543 Lok Sabha seats, elections were held in 542 constituencies as the EC had cancelled polls to the Vellore constituency on the ground of excessive use of money power.