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J&K DDC polls: Final turnout 51.42%; results tomorrow, over 30 lakh votes to be tallied

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir has recorded 51.42% turnout in all eight phases of District Development Council elections which concluded on December 19, with Tuesday (December 22) being the counting day when over thirty lakh votes will be tallied to decide the fate of 2178 candidates.

In a briefing on Monday, the State Election Commissioner (SEC), KK Sharma said that the DDC election results would be accessed online dynamically on website:

The SEC stated that the State Election Authority would facilitate people and media alike to access election results and trends on a dynamic basis.

He said that soon after the randomization and time-tested protocols the ballot boxes would be opened, and ballot papers would be mixed subsequently for counting and added the updated information would be given to the people on the website.

The SEC added that Tuesday’s counting would decide the fate of 2178 candidates for 280 DDC seats and counting would begin at 9 am.

He also informed that the overall voting percentage in all eight phases across the Union Territory is 51.42 percent and over thirty lakh votes would be counted at counting centres.

While giving a demonstration, Secretary State Election Commission, Anil Salgotra briefed the media persons about the functioning of the website. He said that people along with the media would be able to have access to the counting trends, final results and party-wise trends for all 280 DDC constituencies.

He added that the website can also be accessed for trends with respect to particular constituency in a given district and particular party, besides the information for top two leading candidates and the overall votes polled for all the candidates can also be accessed.

‘All arrangements in place’

Sharma stated that the State Election Commission has made all necessary arrangements for Tuesday’s counting of votes for DDC elections.

The counting for 280 DDC constituencies will begin from 9 am on Tuesday at all district headquarters across the Union Territory.

The SEC chaired a meeting to review the final arrangements with regard to the counting process to be held tomorrow (December 22).

The meeting was attended by all Deputy Commissioners of Jammu and Kashmir through video conferencing whileas Secretary State Election Commission and other senior election officers attended the meeting in person.

The concerned DCs informed the SEC about all the arrangements of counting of votes for DDCs regarding halls dedicated for counting at counting centres in their respective districts.

Each counting hall will have dedicated tables with each table with counting assistants monitored by one counting supervisor.

Elaborating further about the process, the SEC said that the process in each centre will be supervised by a Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer and added that the counting exercise will be recorded by CCTV cameras, and will be overseen by observers also.

Explaining the counting of ballot papers, the SEC stated that the counting will begin with opening of ballot boxes and subsequently the ballot papers will be made into bundles of 25 each, and compared with the actual number of votes polled in each polling station.

The bundles of each polling station will then be mixed together as per the counting guidelines, he said.

The SEC also directed the concerned DCs that COVID-19 protocol must be observed through mandatory masks, and hand sanitisers at each table, besides all the counting staff and other officials should compulsorily wear masks before entering the halls.

Also, the SEC complimented the Deputy Commissioners for successfully conducting the DDC and Panchayat by-polls in their respective districts.  He also thanked the health department, security forces and police for elaborative arrangements during the polling phases.