First Level Checking of EVMs, VVPATs to commence from 16th September: Maneesh Garg

Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg chaired a meeting of the Election Department with the representatives of recognized National and State political parties to discuss the procedure of First Level Checking (FLC) of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs).

A spokesperson of the department stated that FLC of EVMs and VVPATs will be commenced from 16th September 2023 in all the districts in the state, except Mandi and Kullu districts where it will start on 25th September 2023. The spokesperson said that a notice will be issued by the District Election Officer (DC) concerned to all District Presidents/Secretaries of all National/State recognized Political Parties before the start of the FLC. The political parties will apply to the concerned DC by supplying a list of authorized representatives of the political parties along with recent passport size photographs of the said representatives for the issuance of identity cards.

The representatives of the political parties duly authorized by the District President/Secretary of the political parties can only attend the whole process of the FLC including Mock Poll. The EVMs and VVPATs for the said process will be randomly picked from the FLC OK machines. All the representatives of the political parties will have to adhere to the norms of FLC SoP in its true letter and spirit, which includes, entry to hall through Door Frame Metal Detector on production of Identity Card of Authorized Official Pass issued by the DC, no Cell phone, Camera, Spy pens etc will be allowed inside the FLC hall and kept at the collection Centre outside the hall and proper frisking of every person/officer/engineer at every entry with record in the log book for every entry and exit. The FLC will be conducted from 9 AM to 7 PM including holidays, the list of FLC OK EVMs shall be provided to the National/State recognized Political Parties, and representatives of Political Parties will put signature in the Pink Paper seal of machine that are passed OK during FLC and they may randomly pick FLC OK machine for Mock Poll. He requested the representatives of Political Parties to be present at the time of opening and sealing of Warehouse/Strong Room.

The spokesperson stated that the discussion on the Special Summary Revision of Electoral Rolls-2024 was also held. A draft publication of polling stations list has been made on 2nd September, 2023 as per the provisions under section 25 of Section 25 in The Representation of the People Act, 1950. During the period of draft publication of polling stations list between 2nd to 8th September 2023, the draft list of polling stations list will be available on public domain for inviting suggestions from the public and the said lists also be made available in all offices of District Election Officers/Electoral Registration Officers SDO(C)/ Tehsil and Sub Tehsil Offices for inspection by the public. The lists will also be available at the official website of the Chief Electoral Officers

Senior officers of Election Department and members of recognized National and State Political Parties were present in the meeting.

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