Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala police chief Loknath Behera announced that 22,640 security personnel would be on duty in Kerala on Lok Sabha election counting day. Keralites voted on April 23 to elect their 20 Lok Sabha members.  Kerala chief electoral officer Teeka Ram Meena said that the official results of the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala would be declared only after 8 pm on May 23.

Meena said that there would be 29 counting locations, including postal ballots and EVMs. He said that the counting will first begin at 8:30 am at locations with postal ballot counters, after which counting would move on to other locations with EVMs.

According to new rules in counting, 6 VVPAT machines will be counted in every constituency. “This will be taken up only after the entire EVMs and postal ballots are counted. We expect counting of these VVPATs in around 6 hours and the final results in each of the 20 constituencies could be officially declared after 8 pm,” Teeka Ram Meena said.

Meena also added that 14 rounds of counting would take place in each constituency and that in locations with postal ballot counting centres, after the 12th round of counting EVMs, the 13th round would start only after all the postal ballots would be counted.

Meena also stated that if the VVPAT machine count and the EVM count doesn’t match, the figure on the VVPAT would be taken into consideration.

For the first time, Kerala witnessed repolling in eight booths of Kannur, Kasaragod and Ernakulam district. The repolls were announced following reports of bogus voting in the state. 

Repolling in East Kadungalloor Service Cooperative Bank auditorium booth, which falls under Kalamassery Assembly constituency of the Ernakulam Lok Sabha seat, happened on April 30. Repolling was conducted in booth number 83 after it was found that the presiding officer forgot to clear the mock votes from the machine before the actual voting commenced.

On April 23, at the end of the election, a difference of 43 votes was found in Eranakulam. The total number of votes cast was 715, but the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machine displayed 758 votes.

High repolling was witnessed in seven booths in two Lok Sabha constituencies.

Repolling took place in booth number 52 and 53 at Dharmadam in Kannur constituency, booth number 48 at Thrikkaripur in Kasaragod constituency, booth number 19 at Pilathara-Kalliasery, booth number 69 at Puthiyangadi Jamath High School (north block), booth number 70 at Jamath High School (south block) in Kasaragod district and booth number 166 at Taliparamba in Kannur district.