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ECI Releases Polling Numbers For Five Phases, Criticizes 'False Narratives' On Voter Turnout

The ECI emphasized that altering the number of votes polled is not possible due to the rigorous, transparent, and participative process involved
05:37 PM May 25, 2024 IST | Aniket Raj
eci releases polling numbers for five phases  criticizes  false narratives  on voter turnout
Lok Sabha elections

Lok Sabha 2024: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has released the total voter turnout figures for the initial five phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and reaffirmed that this polling information has consistently been available to both candidates and the general public.

Hitting out at what it called a "pattern of false narratives and mischievous design to vitiate electoral process", the ECI maintained that voter turnout data has always been promptly available through its app from 9:30am of the poll day of each phase.

The ECI published the total polling figures the day after the Supreme Court declined to issue directives to the election body in response to an NGO's request to upload polling booth-wise voter turnout data on its website during the Lok Sabha elections. The Supreme Court favored a "hands-off attitude" during the ongoing electoral process.

The poll panel had opposed the NGO's demand, arguing that fulfilling it would "pollute" the electoral environment and create "disorder" in the poll machinery during the general elections.

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The Election Commission of India stated in a release that it felt bolstered by the observations and verdict of the Hon'ble Supreme Court regarding the process of releasing turnout data.

The ECI emphasized that altering the number of votes polled is not feasible due to the rigorous, transparent, and participative process involved.

The ECI highlighted that authorized agents of all candidates have access to Form 17C, which documents the total number of votes cast at each of the approximately 10.5 lakh polling stations across 543 parliamentary constituencies. The Commission affirmed that the total number of votes recorded in Form 17C cannot be modified, as this information is accessible to all contesting candidates.

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