Hyderabad, Oct 5 (PTI) Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections will be conducted with ballot boxes and ballot paper and not EVMs in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the Telangana State Election Commission (SEC) said on Monday.
Based on deliberations, available time and also opinions expressed by political parties, (a majority conveyed their opinion to conduct the GHMC elections with Ballot boxes only), it was decided to conduct the forthcoming elections to GHMC and other left over Urban Local Bodies with ballot boxes and ballot paper, an official release said here.
According to the release, different stages are involved before use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units in polling stations, like--first and second Level checking, randomisation and commissioning of EVMs.
'In all the stages, huge number of Engineers deputed by manufacturers, representatives of political parties, election staff are involved.
A huge number of unskilled labour will be deployed for cleaning, unpacking and packing EVMs and VVPATs in a closed environment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic situation, it is felt that conduct of these activities involve high risk of community spread of COVID-19, when compared to use of Ballot Boxes, ' it said.
With regard to previous elections to GHMC, the first in 2002 were conducted with ballot boxes.
The 2009 and 2016 elections were conducted with EVMs without VVPATs, the release said.
Earlier, a meeting was also held by the SEC with GHMCCommissionerD SLokeshKumar, to discuss whether to conduct elections with ballot boxes or EVMs after which opinion of political parties was obtained, the release added.
The election date is yet to be announced.PTI VVK BN WELCOME BN WELCOME