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Posted On : 25 Sep, 2017  Source : PTI  Place : Shimla 
HP polls: EC likely to count VVPAT slips of 1 booth in each constituency
The Election Commission today said it is considering to count VVPAT slips of one polling station in each assembly constituency on a pilot basis in the upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections.

Reviewing the preparation for the state polls here, dates for which are yet to be announced, Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Joti said that Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail or VVPAT machines would be used for the first time in all the 7,516 booths in 68 assembly constituencies.

"The commission is also considering to count VVPAT slips of one polling station selected at random in each assembly constituency on a pilot basis," he told a press conference.

The VVPAT machine dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box, but the voter cannot take it home.

Earlier this year, the EC had announced that VVPAT machines would be used in Himachal polls after some political parties raked up the issue of alleged manipulation of EVMS.

Joti expressed satisfaction over the preparations for the polls but was non-committal on election schedule.

He reviewed the preparations with a full team of the commission and held discussions with deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and representatives of political parties.

He also discussed preparations with Chef Secretary V C Pharka and DGP Somesh Goyal.

The CEC said while the BJP wanted hoardings on the achievements of the state government removed, the Congress demanded the ones advertisings Centre's work be taken down.

For the first time, two booths in every constituency would have all-women poll team, he said.

He also warned would-be candidates against furnishing wrong details in their affidavits saying it would attract criminal cases.

Political parties have urged that elections be held before the second week of November as weather conditions would not be conducive for polling in high-altitude tribal areas after that.

Responding to opposition's concern on announcements of developmental projects by the state government, the CEC said "once the code of conduct is imposed, action would be taken".

Measures to curb misuse of money power in election were also discussed, he added.

The elections were held on November 4 in 20102 in all 68 constituencies simultaneously.