How are electoral votes counted in India? Here is the process

EEarlier this week, the results of the US presidential election received a lot of attention. We in India watched the results unfold with great keenness and even anticipation.

Now the results of the Bihar assembly have been announced, and the vote count has also managed to create a stir. There is talk of one or more parties requiring a recount.

In this article, we help you understand what the recount entails.

  • An electoral count is the second count of the votes cast in an election that is used to determine the accuracy of an initial count.
  • According to Article 63 of the Rules for the Conduct of Elections, a candidate or his agent is explicitly authorized to demand a recount of postal ballots or EVM votes before the result is officially announced.
  • The request for a partial or full recount must be made in writing with serious reasons for the request.
  • The returning officer examines the reasons provided and may authorize the counting in part or in whole.
  • The returning officer must record the reason for his permission and refusal.

She stood at PKK Shamsudeen v. KAM Mappillai Mohindeen, (1989) that the recount of the votes cannot be ordered in a natural way or on simple request. A strong cause must be established by the person requesting a recount of the votes. The sanctity of the secrecy of the vote must be maintained.

Also, in the case of DP Sharma v. Commissioner and returning officer, the Supreme Court has correctly observed that it is well established that in order to obtain a recount of the votes, an appropriate basis must be laid by the applicant for the election.

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The petitioner should indicate the precise elements on the basis of which he could argue with some substance that there was either an incorrect reception of invalid votes in favor of the elected candidate or an incorrect rejection of valid votes in favor of the defeated candidate or an erroneous count of votes in favor of the candidate for election which had in fact been cast in favor of the defeated candidate.

Regarding the Bihar assembly elections, in a letter sent to the Election Commissioner, Kavita Krishnan, member of the CPI (ML) political bureau, called for a recount in the assembly constituencies of Bhorey, Arrah and Daraundha, citing “questionable counting practices”. It is now up to the returning officer to address the issue of a recount.

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)


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