Election Commission officials of on Friday said that the counting of votes will commence at 8 AM on Saturday morning and will be concluded by late evening. The counting of votes for the high-stakes assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa will take place with trends expected to be available by 11 AM. Here’s how it will all happen:
1. The counting will take place at 157 centers that include 53 centers in Punjab, 2 centers in Goa, 75 centers in UP, meanwhile in Uttarakhand number of centers are 15 and in Manipur there are 12 centers for counting.
2. By 12 noon itself, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the five states.
3. The process of counting of EVM votes begins half-an-hour after the counting of postal ballots, as per the to Election Commission guidelines. The ‘ballot unit’ is switched on in the presence of senior poll officials and counting agents of candidates and the result command keyed in to get the results per machine.
4. Where a paper trail audit or ‘voter-verified paper audit trail’ (VVPAT) has been used, the counting agent can call for a count of the paper slips in the drop box attached to the voting machine, but a final count is taken by the returning officer.
5. The names of the winning candidates will be mentioned in the gazette as soon as the results are declared. The gazette notification will initiate the process to form the next legislative assemblies in the respective states.
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Meanwhile, the exit poll results yesterday indicated that BJP will fight off Congress-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. However, despite most polls giving BJP higher number of seats in the state, none of them has indicated a clear majority which means we may be up for a hung assembly tomorrow. Congress’s dominance in Manipur has also taken a hit while the party is likely to win Punjab. BJP will likely dominate in Uttarakhand but Goa is likely to be a neck and neck fight.