Owing to the lengthy procedure, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be unable to declare the results of the civic elections on the day of the polls, the civic body conveyed to the state election commission (SEC).
As part of the electoral reforms for civic elections, the SEC had asked the civic body to consider declaring the results of the February 2012 elections on the polling day. The BMC has only one returning officer for at least 8 wards. This, in effect, means that the officer has at least 400 polling booths under him. As the lengthy procedure of counting the votes is carried out after the booths are shut, the civic body will not be able to declare the results on the same day, BMC told the election commission.
“We have informed the SEC about our limitations. They had asked us to consider whether the declaration of results can be expedited,” said a civic official from the election department.
Polling booths are shut at 5.30pm after which the election staff seals the voting machines and completes the related
formalities. This process takes at least three hours. The machine is then taken to the counting centre following which the votes in each machine are counted thoroughly.
“Even for the by-elections in two wards in June, the results were declared after the polling day. With 227 wards going for polls, the situation becomes more complicated,” said another officer.
Till the last civic elections, the results were declared on the day after the polls.
From this election, the SEC has introduced several reforms such as introduction of e-voting, enrollment drive with a provision for forms in malls, multiplexes and coffee shops.
According to the new mandate, there will be 34 returning officers as opposed to 24 in 2007. At least 11,000 polling booths will be required for the 2012 elections, as against the 6,792 in 2007. There will be one polling booth per 1,000 people.