To usher in the new President, ‘Mr Ballot Box’ takes a flight


Six days to go for the presidential election, the ballot boxes have begun their journey. On Tuesday, after the customary handing over, the boxes were taken by the designated officers to states. One such, for example, took a Vistara flight in a seat assigned for ‘Mr Ballot Box’, from New Delhi to Chandigarh.

Seats were similarly set aside on flights to other states, with the rule being that the ballot boxes must have a separate ticket, right in the front row. The seat next to ‘Mr Ballot Box’ is occupied by the officer personally supervising the transport. Election Commission rules mandate collection of the poll material by assistant returning officers, including one senior officer.

Election Commission officials said that the boxes have been ferried completely by air since 2017. “In the past, they have been transported by trains as well. Today they have gone to one state by road,” an official said.

Once the ballot boxes reach the state capitals, these are stored in previously sanitised and properly sealed “strong rooms” that are strictly monitored through cameras.

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mr ballot box 1 Apart from the ballot boxes, the Election Commission Tuesday started distributing and dispatching ballot papers, special pens, and other sealed election material to the state Assembly Secretariats, apart from the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union territory of Puducherry. (Express/Sourced)

Apart from the ballot boxes, the Election Commission Tuesday started distributing and dispatching ballot papers, special pens, and other sealed election material to the state Assembly Secretariats, apart from the National Capital Territory of Delhi and Union territory of Puducherry.

The whole process took two days and was undertaken at Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi, under the supervision of Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey. Delhi Police teams accompanied the officers who had come to collect the ballot boxes and other poll material.

They are required to return the same day with the material.

Once the casting of votes for the presidential election is done, the sealed ballot boxes and other election material will be transported back to the Office of the Returning Officer, that is the Rajya Sabha Secretariat, by the next available flight.

Again, all the material will be transported in aircraft cabins — never out of sight of accompanying officers.

As per the schedule announced by the EC for the 16th presidential election, the last date of filing nominations was June 29, polling will be on July 18 and the counting of votes on July 21.

Read the full article at: indianexpress.com


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