All set for Manipur elections votes counting

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Imphal: The polls for 12th Manipur Legislative State Assembly elections concluded with a record turnout of over 89.3% as against the poll percentages of 79.5% and 86.4% recorded in the 10th and 11th state Assembly elections respectively.

Chief electoral officer (CEO) Manipur Rajesh Agrawal said the polls went in two phases on February 28 and March 5. Of the total 60 constituencies, 36 Assembly constituencies recorded 90% or more voter turn out. Among 60 Assembly constituencies, Wangoi recorded the highest voter turn out of 94.8% followed by Chandel (94.3%), Mayang Imphal (94.1%), Lamlai 93.7(%), Tengnoupal (93.5%), Lamsang (93.4%), Hiyanglam (93.4%), Heirok (93.1%). The voter turn out of female voters is as high as 90.5% while male turn out is recorded as 87.9%.

Overwhelming participation by PwD electors have been witnessed in the General Elections with over 90% turn out of a total of 14565 PwD electors. Out of this, 1235 PwD voters have exercised their franchise from the comfort of their respective homes through postal ballots. Out of a total of 41881 electors of 80 and above, 7361 have voted through postal ballots. Interestingly, 95% of the Centenarian voters have exercised their franchise through postal ballots or at the polling stations.

To make the PwD electors vote with ease, the volunteers at the booth assisted them with wheelchairs for smooth voting experience. Many elderlies, PwD and first-time voters were also felicitated by the polling teams at the booth. The active participation of electors in this election has truly made these elections a festival of democracy completely in tune with commission’s mandate of inclusive, accessible and participative election. Transportation and wheelchair facilities were also made available to all the PwD and elderly electors. Prioritise voting facilities were extended to PwD, 80+, transgender and lactating mothers.

Out of a total of 2968 polling stations, 604 polling stations were completely manned by all women polling personnel. Notably, 5 Assembly Constituencies including 13-Singjamei, 14-Yaiskul, 15-Wangkhei, 31-Thoubal and 58-Churachandpur Assembly Constituencies were completely manned by all women polling teams. This is the highest percentage of all women booth in a State in the country. There were 113 model polling stations spread across the State wherein Selfie booth and Photo Booth were also set up.

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Extensive awareness on the importance of electoral participation has resulted in a record voter turnout of 89.24% as against 86.36% in 2017. Targeted SVEEP interventions at 333 pre identified polling stations with low voter turnout in 2017 elections under Mission 300 was overwhelmingly successful and has resulted in massive increase in voter turnout in these polling stations with an average increase in voter turnout by more than 10% in these elections.

A total of 4251 BUs, 4181 CUs and 4576 VVPATs were commissioned for use in these elections. A total of 47 ECIL engineers were also deployed to oversee the polling process through EVMs.

To ensure Covid safe election, adequate arrangements were made in all polling stations. All polling stations were sanitised one day before poll. Over 5936 ASHA and Anganwadi workers were utilised at all polling stations to perform thermal screening and queue management. Two volunteers were also detailed for every polling station to assist the BLO and queue management. Marking of circles with minimum distance was also done to avoid crowding. Besides, mask, glove, were provided to voters requiring the same.

Adequate man and machineries were also put into place to oversee Covid-19 related arrangement and preventive measures during the entire election process. There were 11 District RRT teams and 60 AC level RRTs who have been deployed for attending to health-related exigencies.

Three helicopters including one ALH of Global Vectra and one MI17 of IAF were deployed for airlifting of casualties and polled EVMs and polling teams. A total of 18 injured including 4 deceased were air lifted during the election period. Cashless treatment was given to all the injured, security forces and other election machineries. A total of 25 polling teams along with polled EVMs were airlifted in both the phase out of which 17 teams were airlifted in Tipaimukh AC and 8 from Tamei AC.

Adequate emphasis was also laid on ensuring proper arrangements at the polling stations. Voters set an example of Covid appropriate behaviours. Besides, all the polling stations across the state were declared as no smoking zone.

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The 12th state Assembly elections also witnessed record seizures worth Rs 170 crore as against about Rs 5 crore in 2017. A total cash of Rs 6.14 crore, Rs 143 crore worth drugs and narcotics, Rs 12 crore worth of gold and other precious metals and Rs 7.4 crore worth of other items and freebies were seized during this year’s elections by the enforcement agencies including police, flying squad, income tax and excise departments.

Adequate preventive measures were also taken to ensure free, fair and secure voting by the voters. The elections witnessed a record deposition of licensed arms of 80.98% as against 59.76% in 2017. Besides, 7245 persons were bound down under Cr.P.C. in 2022 as against 1854 in 2017. Further, 3117 persons were also identified as trouble mongers as against 673 in 2017.

Arrangements for webcasting/videography were successfully made in majority of the polling stations. The voting at majority of the polling stations was monitored through the webcasting at the control rooms in ROs, DEOs and CEO office. Safe and secured atmosphere was created in the polling stations through deployment of over 300 Coys of CAPF over and above the state police. A total of 763 Micro Observers were also employed to supervise the poll proceedings at the polling stations.

Twenty General Observers, 11 Police Observers and 20 Expenditure Observers were deployed to oversee the poll process during the entire period of elections. Besides, three Special Observers were also deployed to oversee the overall arrangement.

The movement of EVMs was tracked with the help of e-Traccar App which was embedded in the mobile phones of Polling personnel and Sector Officers. Besides, e-Atlas app was used by polling teams which enables a polling personnel to report any sort of EVM malfunctioning or any untoward incident happening in the polling station. This enabled the Returning Officer to take immediate corrective actions.

The EVMs are now under safe custody at the respective strong rooms guarded under three tier security deployment. All strong rooms are placed under 24×7 CCTV surveillance. Separate TV Screens outside the strong rooms displaying the CCTV coverage are placed for constant monitoring by representatives of candidates. 41 counting halls spread in 12 counting centres have been put in place where counting of votes will be taken up on Thursday, the CEO said.

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“The counting process will start at 8 am on Thursday with the counting of postal ballots.” Thereafter, counting of votes polled in EVM will also start at 8.30 am in all the 41 counting halls notified for the purpose. The counting of 19 ACs will be taken up after completion of counting of first AC in the 19 counting halls where votes for two ACs are to be counted. The DEOs and Superintendent of Police in each district has been directed to make elaborate security arrangement for counting including a minimum of three tier security comprising of CAPF and the state police. The entire process of counting in addition to the Returning Officer, will also be supervised by the 41 General Observers appointed by the Election Commission of India, one each for each Counting Hall. The process of counting will also be webcasted to the district control rooms and also the State Control room at the CEO Office. The trends and final results of the counting will be available in public domain on the Voter Helpline App and the website www.results.eci.gov.in .

Further, the results will also be displayed centrally at western gate of Kangla. The results and updates will also be available to press from the media cell at the CEO Office.

The CEO, Manipur expressed gratitude to all stake holders especially the voters for their enthusiastic and fearless participation in the electoral process and repose faith in the democratic set up. He also thanks PwD, senior citizens, Transgenders for their proactive participation in electoral process. He also recognises the relentless services of the entire electoral officials including polling officers, security personnel, ASHA, Anganwadi workers, supervisory staff, observers, special observers, enforcement agencies, state nodal officers, health authorities as also the air lifting teams of Indian Air Force and Global Vectra for making comprehensive arrangement and dedicatedly working towards successful conduct of free, fair and transparent and safe elections.

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