Election Commission's 24-Hour Delay In Releasing Final Voter Turnout In Delhi Raises Eyebrows

Exit polls on Saturday said the AAP will retain power in Delhi

Delhi   |   10 Feb 2020 6:46 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-02-10T12:39:43+05:30
Election Commissions 24-Hour Delay In Releasing Final Voter Turnout In Delhi Raises Eyebrows

Image credit: Patrika, Asiaville News, ANI

The Delhi Election Commission revealed the overall turnout of 62.59% in the Assembly elections on Sunday, 24-hours after the balloting ended on Saturday.

Unlike previous elections where the EC announced the voter turnout at least by late evening on the same day, the announcement came nearly a day after the elections concluded in the national capital raising question on the delay.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that the delay by the Election Commission in releasing the final voter turnout for Delhi's assembly polls held a day ago was "absolutely shocking".

''What is EC doing? Why are they not releasing poll turnout figures, several hours after polling?" Kejriwal asked in his tweet.

Responding to Kejriwal's allegations the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh and Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena addressing a press conference said, "Accuracy is very important, it was taking time to collate the data." The poll panel also said that it is "not unusual or uncommon" for the voter turnout to be officially declared the day after elections.

The voting percentage in Delhi assembly elections 2020 is about 2 per cent more than the last Lok Sabha elections and 5 per cent less than the 2015 turnout, Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh stated at a press conference.

"They did not want to speculate and wanted to give the exact figures... So, returning officers worked throughout the night to check data to ensure it is accurate," Singh said. Netizens took to Twitter to question the delay and the transparency of the election process.

Reportedly the voter turnout was unusually low through most of the day on Saturday. However, there was a rise in turnout when the EC released the final tally.

The highest voting of 71.6 per cent was reported from Ballimaran constituency, while the lowest turnout was in Delhi cantonment at 45.4 per cent, Singh said. The delay led to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) questioning the security of EVMs. The party claimed that there were many reports of EVMs being taken away illegally to tamper with them. The Election Commission officials, however, have denied the charges.

There was a surge in support for the BJP at polling booths after 3 pm, the BJP claimed. In response to the Manish Sisodiya, Kejriwal's deputy and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader tweeted in Hindi, lashing out at the Election Commission and asked the poll panel if it was yet to receive the final voter turnout figure from the BJP office.

"BJP leaders are giving the voter turnout figures, and on the other hand, the Election Commission has not been able to give the final voting percentage 24 hours after polling got over," Sisodia tweeted.

"EC is saying they are compiling data. What's going on? Are you waiting for the BJP office to give you the final figure?" he further added.

Voting started at 8 am for all 70 of Delhi's Assembly seats on Saturday, which included nearly 2,700 polling stations and 13,000 booths set up across the capital. Exit polls predicted that AAP, led by Arvind Kejriwal, will win a clear majority and be back in power. Election results will be declared on February 11.

Also Read: Delhi Elections 2020: Arvind Kejriwal Led AAP Set To Come Back To Power

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