More than 50,000 officials have been deployed for the counting of votes on Thursday in the five states where assembly polls were held recently. The counting will begin at 8 am in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur and Punjab, following COVID-19 guidelines. The assembly polls in these five states were held in seven phases between February 10 and March 7.
Nearly 1,200 counting halls have been set up where results will be recorded from electronic voting machines (EVMs). Uttar Pradesh, which has a maximum of 403 assembly constituencies, will have more than 750 counting halls, followed by Punjab over 200.
Over 650 counting observers have been deployed in the five states to monitor the process. In view of the pandemic, the Election Commission had issued separate guidelines for counting day.
According to the poll panel’s guidelines, counting centres have to be disinfected before and after the counting process. To ensure distancing norms, the counting halls have to be sufficiently big with proper ventilation, windows and exhaust fans.
Despite being fully vaccinated, if anyone has Covid symptoms such as fever or cold, he or she will not be allowed inside the counting hall. Every counting official and security personnel will be provided with mask, sanitiser, face shield and hand gloves.
Not more than seven counting tables will be set up in a counting hall, the poll panel had said while announcing the election schedule on January 8.