The reason behind this delay is a 45 per cent increase in the number of polling stations during the three-phase assembly election in the state.
Initial trends suggest that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to become the single largest party in Bihar for the first time. But despite elaborate arrangements made by the Election Commission for the counting of votes for the 243-seat Bihar Assembly elections, the final results are likely to be delayed. The poll panel has announced that the final tally will be delayed as the counting of votes will continue till late in the night.
The reason behind this delay is a 45 per cent increase in the number of polling stations during the three-phase assembly election in the state. According to Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) HR Srinivas, there was a significant increase in the number of polling stations as the Election Commission of India wanted to ensure that all social distancing norms are followed during the voting process to ensure the safety of voters. Extra precautions were taken by the poll panel as Bihar was the first state to go for votes after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
According to reports, the number of polling stations was increased to over 1 lakh this time. This led to the use of more electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the entire voting process that began on October 28. Earlier in 2015, there were around 65,000 polling stations.
Additional polling stations were required because the Election Commission reduced the number of voters allowed at a particular polling station. This time number of voters allowed at a polling station was fixed at 1,000, which earlier used to be 1,500. This was done to maintain physical distancing.
Similarly, the number of locations for counting of votes has been increased to 55 from 38 locations in the last Assembly elections. Chandra Bhushan Kumar, Deputy Election Commissioner in charge of Bihar, said that the counting procedure is expected to finish late tonight.