Blind man's row leads to repoll | india | Hindustan Times
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Blind man's row leads to repoll

Following a row EC on Saturday orders repolling at a polling station in Muzaffrabad assembly constituency, reports Masoodul Hasan.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2007 22:50 IST

Following a row which erupted over a vote by a blind voter during the second phase on April 13 the Election Commission on Saturday ordered repolling at a polling station (No 106) in Muzaffrabad assembly constituency in Saharanpur.

The commission also announced repoll at a polling station (No 194) in Kharkhauda in Meerut because of technical error in handling of the electronic voting machine by the presiding officer. The repoll would be conducted on April 15.

Talking to newsmen in Lucknow on Saturday the additional chief electoral officer Divesh Chaturvedi said a blind person who exercised his franchise with the help of a polling officer objected that the vote was not cast as per his direction. The agents present inside the booth also joined the voter in blaming the officer. Chaturvedi said since there was a lot of hue and cry after the matter was referred to the district returning officer, the commission ordered the repoll. At Kharkhauda it was sheer technical error, which led to the repoll.

Before the commencement of polling in the morning the presiding officer did a "mock poll" by pressing all the buttons on the EVM. However, he forgot to delete the number of votes already registered in the machines when the actual polling started. Chaturvedi said during the surprise checking the officers found a gap of 10 votes between the main register and the EVM. While the register showed 228 votes polled, the EVM showed 238, which caused the repolling. He said the district magistrate would take action against the presiding officer.

Chaturvedi said according to the final tally of voting 47.58 per cent electorates voted in the second round in 58 constituencies on Friday. He said the highest polling was 71.09 per cent in Muzaffarabad in Saharanpur and the lowest was 33 per cent in Ghaziabad. He said Saharanpur was also ahead in the overall percentage of 53.92 and the lowest 42.40 per cent in Ghaziabad. The polling percentage in other districts was Mathura (44.79), Hathras (48.70), Aligarh (47.45), Bulandshahr (48.70), Gautam Buddha Nagar (43.27), Meerut (46.82), Baghpat (39.97), Muzaffaranagar (49.93).