EC releases absolute number of voters for all completed phases

– Reiterates that nobody can change data of votes polled, shared on poll day with polling agents of all candidates through Form 17C

– Voter turnout data was always available with candidates and 24×7 on Voter Turnout APP for citizens at large

– Commission notes thepattern of false narratives andmischievous design to vitiate electoral process

New Delhi :- The Commission feels duly strengthened by the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s observations and verdict on the process of release of turnout data by the Election Commission of India. This brings upon the Commission,a higher responsibility to serve the cause of electoral democracy with undeterred resolution.

The Commission hastherefore decided to further expand the format of release of turnout data to include the absolute number of voters in every parliamentary constituency, which of course is discernable ParliamentaryConstituency wise by all citizens themselves by applying the turnout percentage to total electors, both already made available in public domain. The absolute number of voters for the first five phases is given in Annexure 1- 5.

Any alteration inthe number of votes polled is not possible

The process of collection and storage of votes polled is rigorous, transparent and participative. The Commission and its officials across the states have been disseminating voter turnout data in the best possible manner, taking into account statutory considerations.The whole exercise of release of turnout data from the date of commencement of polls on 19th April 2024 has been accurate, consistent and in accordance with election laws and without any discrepancy whatsoever. The Commission has informed in public domain and also to individual political parties the detailed process of recording and release of turnout data and the manner of custody and usages of form 17C. For better understanding, the process in brief is enumerated below:

Final List of electors is given to candidates after the list of contesting candidates is finalized.

Authorized agents of all candidates will be having form 17C across 543 PCs, distinctively for each of approximately 10.5 lakh polling stations.

III. The total number of votes polled in a constituency, as recorded in Form 17C, can never be changed even by anyone’s hypothetical mischief, as it is available with all contesting candidates.

IV. Agents of candidates are always allowed to accompany EVM and statutory papers, including form 17 C from polling station till storage in a strong room as per Rule 49 V (2) of the Conduct of Election Rules 1961.

The candidate or his agents bring the copy of the form 17C to the counting centre and compare it with the result in each round.

Voter turnout data was always available on the APP

The Commission underlines that there has been no delay in the release of voter turnout data. Voter turnout data wasalways available 24X7 on facilitative Voter Turnout App from 9:30am in the morning of poll day of each phase. It publishes estimated voter turnout on two hourly basis till 1730 hrs. After 1900 hours when the polling parties start arriving, data is continuously updated. By midnight on the poll day, the Voter turnout app will show best estimated “Close of Poll (COP)” data in percentage form. Different media organizations pick up data at different points in time as per their convenience to report next morning. After the arrival of the poll parties, depending on geographical and weather conditions, the data of voters attains finality on P+1 or P+2 or P+3 or more days, depending upon arrival of parties and number of repolls, if any.

Issue of press note is just another additional facilitative measure while full data is always available 24X7 on the Voter turnout App. The Commission has issued 13 press notes on voter turnout for five phases. Any alleged delay in the issue of press notes of phase 1 does not mean that data was not available in the public domain all the time through voter turnout app. In therecent facilitative measures,Commission has:

Upgraded its Voter Turnout App from phase 3 onwards to include aggregate phase wise turnout figure, though was discernable from PC wise data on Voter turnout App;

In addition to iOS, also enabled a screenshot feature in the android version of voter turnout APP;

Started releasing constituency wise elector data, although it is available with candidates;

Started releasing Voter turnout data at around 2345 hours also on poll day, though it is just a repetition of what is already available 24X7 on voter turnout APP;

Started issuing third press note of each phase on P+4 day when repolls, if any have also been concluded.

The Commission remains fully committed to highest level of transparency and involvement of stakeholders at every stage of electoral cycle

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