Free Press Journal

EVMs be used in all 543 Lok Sabha constituencies


New Delhi: Satisfied that it has sufficient EVMs, the Election Commission today issued formal directives that the voting machines will be used in all the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies in the nine-phased polling beginning April 7.

It also said the electronic voting machines will be used in the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh (294 seats), Arunachal Pradesh (60), Odisha (147) and Sikkim (32) which are being held along with the Lok Sabha polls.

The machines will also be used in the bypolls to 27 Assembly seats spread across Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

The EC said it took the decision after it was satisfied that it had enough EVMs for the purpose.

Well-trained polling personnel who are “efficient” in handling the machines and “fully conversant” electorate also helped EC in taking the decision.

According to the latest edition of candidates’ handbook for Lok Sabha polls, EVMs can cater to a maximum of 64 candidates.

There is provision for 16 candidates in a balloting unit. If the total number of candidates exceeds 16, a second balloting unit can be linked parallel to the first unit.

If the total number of candidates exceeds 32, a third unit can be attached and if the total number of candidates exceeds 48, a fourth unit can be attached.

In case the number of contesting candidates goes beyond 64 in any constituency, EVMs cannot be used in such situation.

The conventional method of voting by means of ballot box and ballot papers will have to be adopted in such a constituency, the handbook clarifies.