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NEW DELHI, Jun. 9 2023 (TBINN)

Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and five Assembly polls due before the end of this year, the Election Commission has initiated first-level checks of E.V.M.s and papertrail machines across the country in a phased manner, sources disclosed. Mock polls are part of the first-level check process, authorities said.

It is a pan-India exercise F.L.C. will take place across the country in a phased manner, an Election Commission functionary informed. He was responding to a question on a mock poll taking place in Kerala’s Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency, which fell vacant following the disqualification of Congress’ leader Rahul Gandhi.

The E.C. issues a calendar for such exercises and there are standing instructions that are to be followed by state Chief Electoral officers, functionary explained and pointed out that F.L.C.s will also take place in the five poll-bound states of Rajasthan, Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh as well as Assembly and Parliamentary seats where by-polls are due.

At present, Lok Sabha seats of Wayanad, Pune and Chandrapur (Maharashtra), Ghazipur (Uttar Pradesh) and Ambala (Haryana) are vacant. Rahul Gandhi’s plea seeking a stay on the conviction and sentencing is pending before the Gujarat High Court.

During F.L.C.s, electronic voting machines and papertrail machines are checked for mechanical flaws by engineers of B.E.L. and E.C.I.L., the two P.S.U.s who manufacture the two equipment. Faulty machines are returned to the manufacturers for repair or replacement.

Besides, a mock poll is also held to check the two machines in the presence of representatives of political parties.

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