Election Commission directs poll officials to check rigging

Poll officials to check rigging
New Delhi, Mar 14:  To guard against rigging and use of money power, the Election Commission has issued directives to its officials to mark as "critical" polling stations which saw over 90 per cent turn out and where a particular candidate got more than 75 per cent votes in the last elections.

In a separate directive to Chief Electoral Officers, the EC has asked them to ensure randomisation at more than two stages of polling parties to ensure their neutrality.

In its directive to identify critical polling stations as a measures to ensure free and fair elections, the EC said after considering various factors, it wants the Chief Electoral Officers to analyse the previous poll results to enable them identify critical polling stations.

"The polling station-wise election results available in Form 20 with reference to the past general election shall be analysed. All such polling stations where percentage of votes polled was more than 90 per cent and where more than 75 per cent of votes have been polled in favour of one candidate shall be identified as critical polling stations," the EC directive reads.

EC wants the Chief Electoral Officers to analyse the previous poll results

Based on identification of a polling station as "critical", the poll body can either deploy more forces to prevent rigging or post additional observers to avoid use of money power or other means to ensure a level playing field for all candidates.

In its directive on polling personnel, the EC has said that randomisation of those deployed for election duty should be undertaken to maintain their neutrality. It said "sufficient care" should be taken while drafting and deploying personnel so that "unbiased" polling parties are set up "in the interest of free and fair elections."


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