Panchayat elections in Odisha: Counting of polls to be done at block offices

Bhubaneswar: The votes of three-tier Panchayat elections in Odisha will be counted at block offices after completion of all phase of elections instead of booths. A gazette notification has been issued by the Panchayati Raj Department after the law was amended in this regard.

Reportedly, the ballot box will be sealed immediately in the presence of the candidate or his/her agent and will be handed over to the election officials. It will be opened and the votes will be counted on pre-scheduled date. All ballot boxes will be sent to the office of the Election Officer after every phase of the elections.

The number of voters and the number of ballots in the box will be matched before the seals open at the center following which the counting will begin in the presence of the candidate or his/her agent. The State Election Commission (SEC) has directed the collectors to make necessary arrangements.

Thereafter, the names of the most-voted Ward Member, Sarpanch Samiti members and Zilla Parishad members will be announced.

It is to be noted that the State government had earlier published the draft notification for amendment of the election rules as has been done so far.

Earlier in 2017, the Panchayat election was held in the state in the month of February. Hence, it is expected that the state government will complete the procedure for the elections soon to conduct the election by February 2022.

Also read: Panchayat elections in Odisha to take place on time: Min Pratap Jena

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