Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Plea in Supreme Court questions EC’s delay in publishing poll turnout data | Latest India News

New Delhi The sharp increase between the initial and final voting percentage in the first and second phases of the general elections has raised concerns among the electorate, according to a petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Election Commission of India (ECI) to disclose authenticated voting figures on its website cast at all polling stations.

The application asked the electoral authority for a certified record of voter turnout.(AFP)

The motion filed on Thursday by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) also considered the exception for “unreasonable delay” shown by ECI in disclosing polled vote data. According to the petition, detailed data for the first stage of voting were revealed 11 days after the vote on April 19, and for the second stage – 4 days after the vote on April 26.

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Soon after polling in the two phases ended, the ECI issued a press release in which it tentatively said that the voter turnout in 21 states and union territories would be 60% in the first phase and 60.96% in the second phase from 7 p.m. The revised data released on April 30 showed an increase of almost 6 percent, with the total votes in both phases being 66.14 percent and 66.71 percent, he added.

It is true that the provisional voting percentages published by the ECI varied from polling day to the remainder of the elections (before the votes were counted), even in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. In a press note dated May 10, ECI had published the schedule of ECI press releases on the provisional vote percentage in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. This shows that during the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, the two ECI press releases on provisional vote percentage were published 5-7 days apart at each stage, with the largest difference between these two provisional data was 3.4 percentage points in the second phase of the 2019 elections. However, the second provisional data for the 2024 first phase polls was released 11 days after the poll.

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The application filed by advocate Prashant Bhushan also said: “The ECI’s failure to disclose the absolute number of votes cast coupled with unreasonable delay in release of voting data has led to concerns among the electorate due to the sharp increase between the initial data and the data released on April 30.”

Asking the European Commission to allay these concerns, the proposal further added: “In order to maintain voter confidence, it is imperative that ECI is directed to disclose scanned and legible copies of Form 17C Part I (Registered Votes Account) on its website. all polling stations that contain authenticated data on votes cast, within 48 hours of the end of voting.”

The petition asked the court to direct the Election Commission to provide a certified record of voter turnout by uploading on its website scanned and legible copies of Form 17C Part I (Account of Registered Votes) of all polling stations after each phase of voting. A compilation of voter turnout figures for constituencies and polling stations in absolute numbers and percentages for the current general election was also requested. Moreover, the proposal urged the ECI to disclose the count result according to the candidate who is registered under Part II of Form 17C.

ADR filed the request as part of a pending petition it filed in 2019 raising concerns about electronic voting machines (EVMs). The new motion, which is likely to be discussed at a hearing next week, said there was an “excessive delay” in publishing the final voter turnout data combined with an “extraordinarily high revision” and “lack of disaggregated data on constituencies and polling stations.” aroused “public suspicions” as to the accuracy of the data provided by the EC.

The app has opened a new front of attack on the European Commission, which is already battling concerns from political parties – including the Trinamool Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress – over the poll data.

On May 7, the Congress leader wrote a letter to the leaders of the INDIA bloc, alleging discrepancies in the voting data published by the research body. The ECI on Friday responded by rejecting allegations of mismanagement and delay in the release of voter turnout data in the first two phases of the Lok Sabha elections and termed Kharge’s allegations as “unfounded”, “factless” and “reflecting a biased approach and a deliberate attempt to spread confusion “.

Turnout data available so far shows that the turnout in the 280 PCs (all PCs outside Jammu and Kashmir) that voted so far was 66.1%, 2.7 percentage points lower than in 2019. In absolute terms, 326.7 million people took part in the vote. these 280 PCs, 3% more than in 2019. The PC analysis shows that of the 266 PCs for which this comparison is possible (all PCs except those in Jammu, Kashmir and Assam, whose borders have been redrawn designated since 2019), attendance percentage increased and decreased for 200 computers. Of these 200 computers, 167 saw a decline of more than 2 percentage points, 71 a decline of more than 5 percentage points, and seven a decline of more than 10 percentage points. In absolute terms, turnout fell in 95 countries. Among these 95 voters, absolute turnout dropped by more than 2% in 63 computers, by more than 5% in 30 and by more than 10% in five. This analysis is certainly based on the first and second stage data published by ECI in its April 30 press release, but the third stage data updated in the ECI Turnout app as of 6:30 PM on May 10. the turnout decline may decrease if turnout is revised upwards in stage 3.

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