Local officers will take call on extending polling time: CEC Rawat

New Delhi: Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat on Wednesday said that the local officers in Madhya Pradesh will take a call on the extension of polling time, in line with provisions of the law. Rawat was referring to Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia’s demand to extend polling time in booths where Electoral Voting Machine (EVM) malfunctions halted voting.

Speaking to ANI, Rawat said, “There are provisions for the extension of time, the local officers can take the call as they see fit. The matter does not need to be handled by the commission.”

Stating that no voter should be left out because of faulty EVMs, Scindia approached the Election Commission seeking an extension in polling time.

Responding to reports of EVMs malfunctioning in Madhya Pradesh, Rawat said that if it is observed that voters left polling booths due to malfunctions in the machines, the commission would consider re-polling at that particular polling station.

“There were few complaints on malfunction of some EVMs and VVPAT machines, they have been replaced. If it’s observed that voters left due to malfunction, we can consider re-polling at that particular polling station,” he confirmed.

Expressing happiness at a high voter turnout in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram, he said, “It’s very satisfying to see that voters from Bru community in Mizoram came in large numbers to cast their respective votes since morning.”

The voting for 230 assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh and 40-member legislative assembly of Mizoram is currently underway. The counting of votes for both states will take place on December 11.