EC supports totalising votes before counting

New Delhi, (IANS): The Election Commission (EC) told the Supreme Court on Monday that it supported the demand of replacing booth-wise counting of votes with the totaliser system of counting to prevent disclosure of voting pattern at a particular booth.

The Election Commission told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that what the PIL petitioner Yogesh Gupta was seeking was already a part of their larger electoral reforms since 1998 and was reiterated on December 6, 2016.

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The bench, also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachud, asked the Election Commission to provide the Centre with all the documents related to its recommendation on the mixing of EVMs before the counting of votes to eliminate the knowledge as for which party the voters at a particular polling booth voted.

While not opposing the plea for the mixing of EVMs before the counting of votes, the Centre said there were questions being raised about the credibility of EVMs and tampering of the machines.

Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh said that the Election Commission, while switching over to the totaliser system of counting votes, will have to ensure that there was no leakage of data or tampering of the machines and their genuineness is also kept intact.

The Centre also told the court that most of the political parties were opposed to mixing of EVMs before the counting of votes.

Adjourning the matter for two weeks – the court gave one weeks time to Election Commission to submit its papers and gave one week time to the Centre to respond.