Bhubaneswar: With initiation of process at administrative level for the three tier panchayat elections scheduled for next year, the State Election Commission (SEC) has decided to count votes at block headquarters instead of booths in the next rural polls.
The Commission said there would be a need for 92,000 ballot boxes for the counting exercise at Block level.
The poll body stated that it had received the data on ballot boxes from various districts which is much lesser than the boxes supplied to them. Expressing resentment over the discrepancies in the data, the Commission has directed the district Collectors to make appropriate inventory of ballot boxes and submit a detailed report.
“The Commission has taken a strong exception to the casual approach of the districts in submitting figures that are much lower than the quantity of ballot boxes received,” the letter read.
The inventory should be carried out by senior officers like the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) or PD, DRDA, the Commission stated in a letter to the district Collectors while directing them to submit report by July 26.
As many as 20,000-25,000 ballot boxes were usually required for the voting as elections are conducted in phased manner. Most of the boxes were provided by the Election Commission of India while some were arranged by the State Election Commission.
In the event the counting takes place at block level, ballot boxes would be required for every booth, the Commission said.
The poll body will take appropriate measures for more ballot boxes only after the district administrations apprised the Commission about the boxes which are in usable condition.