SHIMLA 25 March, 2019:
To review the measures taken for poll preparedness, a video conference was held here today chaired by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Devesh Kumar in which necessary instructions were issued to all the District Election Officers, (DEOs) Superintendent of Police (SPs), Nodal officers of Excise and Income tax and Nodal officers of Police appointed for smooth conduction of elections.
Necessary directions were issued regarding safety and security of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) which are required to be kept in the strong rooms having proper security, single entry point, fire extinguishers and CCTV cameras.
The first randomization of EVMs and VVPATs will be carried out on 28th March, 2019 by DEOs as per directions of Election Commission of India (ECI) and arrangements of shifting and storage of EVMS and VVPATS after first randomization are required to made by all Assistant Returning Officers (AROs).
As per directions of ECI, the EVMs and VVPATs are to be divided into four categories viz: polled EVMs and VVPATs, defective polled EVMs and VVPATs, defective un-polled and un-polled EVMs and VVPATs. The first two shall be stored separately in the strong rooms after following proper protocol as laid down and the last two shall not be in the vicinity of AC strong rooms treasuring the first two categories.
The DEOs were directed for real time tracking and monitoring the end to end movement of reserve EVMs and VVPATs for which all sector officers and sectoral magistrates will be equipped with GPS tracking. The EVM control room will be set up at DEO and CEO level with GPS tracking system.
Directions were issued to districts to submit 100 percent physical verification certificate of all polling stations.
Police authorities and Executive magistrates have been directed to take speedy action against history-sheeters, declared absconders, criminal and anti-social elements. District authorities were asked to ensure thorough checking of entry and exit points near border areas of the State. Directions were also issued for checking flow of cash, liquor, drugs, illegal arms etc from adjoining states and to give daily report to CEO.
Chief Electoral Officer said that voter helpline was operational at the State and district headquarters 24X7. All the DEOs were directed to make all out efforts to register first time eligible voters by organizing special camps in educational, technical and professional institutions. It was disclosed that out of 78230 new requests online by eligible electors as many as 22,450 electors have been enrolled in the age group 18-19 years. The process is being expedited for new enrollments, said CEO.