Satisfactory voting process observed in Kerala LS Polls: Chief Electoral Officer

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Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay Kaul stated that the Lok Sabha election process and voting in the state were satisfactory across all levels. Voting machines showed improved performance compared to previous years. By 6 pm, voting was completed in 95% of the 25,231 polling booths, and by 8 pm, it was completed in 99% of booths.

The Vadakara constituency experienced extended voting in some booths due to increased turnout after 5 pm. Officials had to verify records meticulously, leading to the delay. Nevertheless, all voters present by 6 pm were issued tokens promptly, underscoring the officials’ diligence and attentiveness.

This time, a new method was adopted to completely avoid external interventions in the deployment of officials. The arrangement of election officials was completed impartially using order software. All details of the officials across districts were provided in the software, facilitating an interference-free deployment.

Naturally, among the officials assigned election duty, there were both experienced and inexperienced individuals. All officials were appointed for election duty after necessary training. The additional vigilance by officials in checking voter records to ensure accuracy led to extended voting times in some booths.

Considering adverse weather conditions and political contexts, the polling conducted in the state was excellent, as assessed by the commission. When analyzing the performance of voting machines, it was clear that they functioned flawlessly in this election, compared to previous ones, where the malfunction rate was an average of 5%. However, this time, only 0.44% of ballot units and control units and 2.1% of VVPATs experienced malfunctions. The public realized that everything circulated in the media and social media regarding EVMs earlier was baseless, the officer stated.

All serious complaints related to duplicate entries in the voter list were investigated, and no substantial issues were found, he added. Remedial actions were taken in all identified duplicate cases, and they were resolved. A meticulous and complex purification of the voter list was conducted.

The Chief Electoral Officer highlighted that there were no law and order issues that disrupted the smooth conduct of voting anywhere in the state. Excellent security was ensured at all polling centres under the leadership of 66,303 security officers. After voting, all voting machines were securely stored in 20 centers prepared across the state. The machines will be taken out in the presence of political party representatives on the counting day, June 4.

Chief electoral officer thanked all voters, political parties, officials, and the media for their cooperation in conducting the election in a free, transparent, and peaceful manner.

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