HP Poll Officials Forgot to Delete Mock Votes, Erase Actual Votes

Amid all the controversy regarding the mishandling of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) during the Lok Sabha elections, another controversy has fallen in the way of the Election Commission as 20 officials allegedly forgot to delete the mock poll votes in five Himachal Pradesh polling stations, Hindustan Times reported.

According to the report, the 20 officials are likely to face disciplinary action. The Himachal chief electoral officer (CEO) Devesh Kumar was quoted by HT as saying that the Election Commission was investigating the matter and five presiding officers and 15 polling officers are likely to be suspended.

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As per the EC guidelines, mock polls are carried out an hour before the actual polling to test if the EVM is working properly. At least 50 votes are cast and the procedure is overseen by the polling agents.

CEO Kumar said that on Sunday, 19 May during the last phase of polling, the 20 officials forgot to delete the test votes. However, the officials deleted some actual votes after they realised their mistake. This was then noticed by the observers, the HT report further quoted Kumar as saying.

The booths where this happened were at Chowk, Salvahan and Harvahni villages in Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, Kashmirpur village of Solan district in Shimla constituency and Bhager in Bilaspur district of Hamirpur constituency.

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(With inputs from Hindustan Times.)

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