Three-tier security for EVMs at Strong Rooms

Counting on May 15 at 8 am; 120 men guard two counting centres 24×7

Mysuru:  Three-tier security has been provided at Maharani’s College of Commerce and Management in Vinayakanagar (Paduvarahalli) and the National Institute of Engineering – Institute of Technology (NIE-IT) in Koorgalli where votes that were polled across 11 Assembly constituencies in Mysuru will be counted on May 15.

The centres are being guarded by Paramilitary Forces and the city Police round the clock. Voting concluded yesterday and the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), Control Units and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trial (VVPAT) machines from the booths have been kept at these centres.

The centres were sealed early in the morning today as the last batch of EVMs arrived at the centres at 3 am.

At the NIE-IT, votes that have been cast at K.R. Nagar, Periyapatna, Varuna and Chamaraja will be counted. At the Maharani’s College, votes cast at Krishnaraja, Narasimharaja, Chamundeshwari, Hunsur, Nanjangud, T. Narasipur and H.D. Kote constituencies will be counted. Counting will begin at 8 am after the EVMs are brought out from the Strong Rooms. Results are expected by afternoon.

One strong room for one constituency has been established at the two counting centres and three-tier security has been provided. The Strong Rooms (including windows) are sealed in such a way that no one has access. The entry point of Strong Rooms has CCTV coverage round the clock.

Paramilitary Forces guard the Strong Room at Maharani’s College of Commerce and Management in Vinayakanagar (Paduvarahalli) this morning.

Sleuths from Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) are providing the first layer of security and the second layer is provided by Karnataka State Reserve Police. The outer layer is guarded by civil Police under the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. In all, 120 men are guarding the two centres in three shifts.

Sixteen metal detectors have been set up at two centres including the main entrance and the insides and two bomb squads have been stationed.

A log book is being maintained by the security personnel where entries are made about date, time, duration and name(s) of anyone entering near the Strong Rooms. This includes visits by the Observers or District Election Officers, media, candidates or their agents or any other person. Apart from over 100 CCTV cameras, focussing lights have been set up in front of the Strong Rooms and surroundings of the buildings.

At the Maharani’s College, as the compound wall has been constructed just a couple of days ago, Police personnel have been posted all along the wall to prevent people from crowding and breaking the wall.

Each EVM has a unique code number and have been stored in containers and coded according to booths and constituencies.  Since this time VVPATs are used in all the booths, the respective VVPAT machine is also numbered accordingly and coded. If there is any confusion regarding voting in any booth, VVPATs are taken out and the voter data is accessed by the Returning Officer.

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