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புதன், மே 04, 2011

Victory celebration expenses of candidates to be credited to poll accounts

CUDDALORE: 

         Expenses incurred on victory celebrations of candidates winning the Assembly elections will also be credited to their respective poll accounts, according to P. Seetharaman, District Electoral Officer and Collector.

           Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Seetharaman said that since the candidates were given 30 days time after the counting of votes to submit their poll accounts, the money spent by the successful candidates on throwing parties or hosting feasts, bursting firecrackers and taking out victory rallies would also be accounted for.

Mr. Seetharaman said that there are three counting centres : 

Periyar Government Arts College in Cuddalore (where the votes polled in the Cuddalore, Kurinjipadi, Panruti and Neyveli constituencies would be counted); 

B.Mutlur Government Arts College (Chidambaram, Bhuvanagiri and Kattumannarkoil constituencies); and, 

Kolanjiappar Government Arts College at Vriddhachalam (Thittakudi and Vriddhachalam constituencies).

           Counting would begin at 5 a.m. on May 13 with the manual draw of lots (and not the computerised randomisation as was done for allocating polling stations to the officials) by the general election observer for allocation of counting centre for the officials, and, at 6 a.m. the Assembly segment and the table number to which they would be posted would be determined, again by lots.

            The officials should report to the respective counting centre to take oath at 8 a.m. to the effect that they would safeguard the secrecy of voting. Mr. Seetharaman said that those who failed to honour the oath or violated the secrecy law would have to undergo three months rigorous imprisonment or penalty or both. Mr. Seetharaman said that ballot boxes containing postal votes would be shifted to the respective counting centres with police escort at 6 a.m. These postal votes would be taken up for counting at 7.30 a.m.

         There would be 10 to 12 tables for each Assembly segment and even though the serial number of EVMs to be counted on every table had been tabulated, the general election observer would randomise the EVM selection for each table. After every round of counting, the display of total votes polled would be recorded on web-camera fitted laptops.

          After getting the concurrence of the general election observer, the candidate-wise votes polled in every round would be displayed on LCD screens and notice board put up at the counting centres. The candidates or their agents are not allowed to carry cell phones inside the counting centres. They should not carry water bottles, food, or any sharp-edged weapon, Mr. Seetharaman said.

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