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Odishatv Bureau

Sambalpur/Bhubaneswar: For the big date of May 23, when counting of votes will be taken up in the country, including Odisha, the Sambalpur district administration here has made all elaborate arrangements in accordance with the Election Commission guidelines to conduct the counting process smoothly in the district's four assembly constituencies and four assembly segments of the Sambalpur Lok Sabha.

As per the ADM Sambalpur, Ajay Kumar Jena, the district will have four counting halls in three counting venues. The counting of votes for the Sambalpur and Rengali Assembly constituencies and segments will be taken up in Sambalpur Women's College; the votes polled for Redhakhol Assembly Constituency and segment will be done at Redhakhol and Bhimabhoi College. And counting of votes for the Kuchinda Assembly segment and constituency will be conducted at Kuchinda college.

"A training session will be conducted for around 400 counting assistants and supervisors on May 18. Prior to it, the returning officers and assistant returning officers will be given a training session from May 16," informed Jena and added that the number of rounds of vote counts in a particular assembly segment or constituency depend on number of booths in the constituency.

He explained, for instance, Sambalpur assembly constituency has a total of 189 booths, as counting will be picked up at seven tables, the constituency to witness around 27 rounds. Similarly, Kuchinda assembly constituency to see around 38 rounds, he added. Though the counting will begin at 8 AM, the EVM votes will be taken up for counting at 8:30 AM. In the first half hour, postal ballots will be counted.

The ADM further disclosed that counting of postal ballots for the Lok Sabha will be done under the direct supervision of district collector, and a hotline has been installed in all the counting venues to establish direct communication with the Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha.

Besides, a communication centre has been established outside the counting venue for the media persons. The centre has been provisioned will all latest state-of -art communication services like computer with internet connection, fax and telephones etc. And media representatives will also be allowed to watch the phase-wise counting process in the counting halls, he said and added that each counting hall has an observer table and tables for returning officer and assistant returning officers, respectively.

Meanwhile, the two-day training session of returning officers in Bhubaneswar on its concluding day today has imparted training on procedures regarding vote counting and VVPAT slip counting. For which, a model counting centre has been established at Gita Govinda Sadan in Jayadev Bhavan here.

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