Mumbai: In a bid to increase the speed of counting of votes on May 23, the Election Commission (EC) has allowed to increase the number of tables in some Lok Sabha and assembly constituencies in Maharashtra.
According to a letter the Kolhapur district collectorate has received from the EC, there will be 20 tables each instead of 14 in Kolhapur and Hatkanangale Lok Sabha constituencies.
The EC also allowed to increase the number of tables in Maval and Panvel assembly constituencies, which are part of Maval Lok Sabha seat.
"The decision is taken mainly due to the number of polling stations in these Lok Sabha and assembly segments. With more number of polling stations, the actual counting procedure with only 14 tables will take over 10 hours to finalise the results," Sanjay Shinde, resident collector of Kolhapur, said.
"Similar is the case with Maval and Panvel assembly segments, which are part of Maval Lok Sabha seat. Both the assembly segments have more than 800 polling stations, whereas general average is of 700-800 polling stations in every assembly segment," an official from Pune district collectorate said.
"Hence, the EC has permitted to use more tables, so that counting of more polling stations can commence at once," he said.
The VVPAT machines, as well as service voters' papers with bar-codes, are going to be counted as well, Shinde said.
"The bar-code feature is going to increase the counting time. Hence, the state officials have requested the ECI to increase the counting tables and deploy more people for this procedure," he added.
These requests have been accepted as well. A detailed communication will be shared soon, the official from Pune said, adding that the ECI has already started training sessions for the counting day.