New Delhi, May 21, 2019 : The Election Commission (EC) is likely to take disciplinary action against 20 officials who allegedly forgot to delete mock poll votes at five polling stations during Lok Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh on Sunday, Hindustan Times reported.
State’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Devesh Kumar on Tuesday said the Election Commission was investigating the matter and the erring officers — five presiding officers and 15 polling officers — were likely to be suspended.
According to the Election Commission guidelines, a mock poll is carried out an hour before actual polling to test whether an electronic voting machine or EVM is working properly and at least 50 test votes are cast. Mock polling is conducted in the presence of polling agents, who are then shown the results.
Kumar said on Sunday, when the state voted in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections, the 20 officials forgot to delete the test votes which got added to the actual votes. When the officials realised their mistake, they deleted some votes, but the error was by then noticed by observers, he added.
These officials were deputed at booths in Chowk, Salvahan and Harvahni villages in Mandi Lok Sabha constituency, Kashmirpur village of Solan district in Shimla constituency and Bhager in Bilaspur district of Hamirpur constituency, the CEO said.
There are four Lok Sabha constituencies —Shimla, Mandi, Hamirpur and Kangra —which went to polls on May 19 in the last phase of voting in the country.