Arrangements in place for counting of votes

Counting will begin at 8 a.m. on December 16

Arrangements have been completed for the counting of votes polled in the local body elections in the State, State Election Commissioner V. Bhaskaran has said.

The counting will begin at 8 a.m. on December 16 in the 244 counting centres across the State. The Commission has directed District Election Officers to ensure that the COVID-19 protocols are strictly followed throughout the process.

The postal ballot papers, including those issued to service voters and the special ballots issued to COVID-19 positive and quarantined voters, will be counted first. In the three-tier panchayats, the polled votes will be counted at the distribution and receiving centres at the block level. In the municipalities and Corporation, the venues will be the distribution and receiving centres of the respective local bodies.

The district-level break-up of counting centres is as follows: Thiruvananthapuram (16), Kollam (16), Pathanamthitta (12), Alappuzha (18), Kottayam (17), Idukki (10), Ernakulam (28), Thissur (24), Palakkad (20), Malappuram (27), Kozhikode (20), Wayanad (7), Kannur (20) and Kasaragod (9).

As part of disease containment measures, the counting centres will be disinfected on Monday, Mr. Bhaskaran said. Counting officers are required to wear gloves, masks and face shields. Candidates and counting agents should use masks and sanitiser.

The returning officers for block panchayats will have a counting hall. The grama panchayats within a block will have separate counting halls. In the municipalities and Corporations, each returning officer will have a separate counting hall. There will be one table for a maximum of eight polling stations. The votes polled in the polling stations in a ward will be counted on one table.

Updates on trends

The updates on the counting of votes will be available on the ‘Trend’ website, the Commission said. Updates will be available at the polling station level in a given ward.

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