Election Commission takes stock of EVMs ahead of general elections in 2024

The EC issues a calendar for such exercises and there are standing instructions that are to be followed by state chief electoral officers

Lok Sabha elections 2019

A polling officer counts the EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) kept in a strong room after the first phase of general elections, in Dibrugarh, Friday, April 12, 2019. Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi

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In the wake of the upcoming elections in five state assemblies and the general elections scheduled next year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has started the first-level checks of EVMs and paper trail machines in a phased manner, Mint has reported.

Quoting officials in the know, the newspaper said that mock polls are part of the first-level check (FLC) process. An office holder with the ECI said that the checking of the polling machines is a pan-India exercise and will also be conducted in Wayanad, Kerala.

The Lok Sabha constituency fell vacant when Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the lower house of the Parliament.

He was convicted in a criminal defamation case by a sessions court in Surat, following which Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.

An EC official told the news agency PTI, "The EC issues a calendar for such exercises and there are standing instructions that are to be followed by state chief electoral officers. FLCs will also take place in the five poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh as well as assembly and parliamentary seats where by-polls are due."

At present, the Lok Sabha seats of Wayanad, Pune, Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana's Ambala do not have representatives and are due for elections.

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Notably, Rahul Gandhi's plea requesting a stay on his conviction is pending before the Gujarat High Court.

As part of the FLC, EVMs and paper trail machines are checked for any mechanical flaws. This is done by engineers from BEL and ECIL. Importantly, these two PSUs also manufacture these voting machines.

First Published: Jun 09 2023 | 2:10 PM IST

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