At least 93 Electronic Voting Machines malfunctioned and were replaced during the first phase of Assembly polls in 65 constituencies in Assam, where the two-phase election process started on Monday.
Election Commission officials said the number was likely to go up as the day comes to an end. The highest number of malfunctioning EVMs were witnessed in Sivasagar election district. “We have changed 12 machines at different places in three constituencies - Sivasagar, Amguri and Thowra. Besides, some other machines developed snag and were corrected by engineers,” Sivasagar Returning Officer Virendra Mittal told PTI.
Tezpur Returning Officer Laya Madduri said ten machines were not working properly during the polling exercise and were replaced.
Most of the problems were related to lights not blinking after pressing a particular button against the name of a candidate, she added.
Lakhimpur Returning Officer Debeswar Malakar said ten machines were replaced at different locations in the district. “There were some glitches in a few other EVMs also, but our engineers corrected them immediately and they are working perfectly. Because of the replacement, polling was not affected at all,” he said.
Karimganj Returning Officer Manoj Kumar Deka said eight EVMs were changed at different locations due to malfunctioning of lights, battery and link.
Tinsukia Returning Officer Puru Gupta said seven machines were replaced in the district during the day. Returning Officers of Sadiya and Udalguri said six machines each were replaced in these places.
“We have replaced four machines in Dhemaji district due to some battery problem,” Dhemaji Returning Officer Victor Carpenter said.
Election Officials said three machines each were replaced in Gohpur, Golaghat and Jorhat, while two units each were changed in Hailakandi, Hamren, Dhansiri, Nazira, Jonai and Margherita.
In Dibrugarh, Dhakuakhana, Bokajan, Biswanath Chariali and Bokakhat election districts, one EVM each has been replaced by officials concerned.