| Preparations on at Calcutta's Netaji Indoor Stadium for counting. Picture by Sanjoy Chattopadhyaya
Calcutta, May 9: After seeing a peaceful election through, the Election Commission is now gearing up for peaceful counting of votes.
And like the polling booths during the five-phase elections, there will be a tight security wrap around all counting centres on Thursday.
'This time, the commission has prescribed a three-tier cordoning system to prevent entry of unauthorised persons into counting centres. The state police will patrol the outermost ring, while the central paramilitary forces will man the two inner rings,' said chief electoral officer Debashis Sen.
This effectively means that the state police would patrol only the main roads outside the counting centres.
Sixty companies of central forces are being deployed at the 97 venues across the state, where counting will start by 8 am on Thursday. These forces are in addition to the 20 companies that are already guarding strong rooms where electronic voting machines are kept.
'An official of the rank of senior magistrate will be posted at the entrance to each counting centre to control crowds and regulate entry,' Sen said.
To gain admission to counting centres, people ' including candidates and their agents ' will have to wear badges identifying themselves. They will also be subject to frisking by the state police.
Nine of the venues are located in Calcutta. Counting for Calcutta South will be carried out at Jodhpur Park Boys' School, Jodhpur Park Girl's School, David Hare Training College, Calcutta University's Alipore campus, Ballygunge Government High School and Ballygunge Shiksha Sadan. Counting for Calcutta Northwest will be done at Netaji Indoor Stadium and for Calcutta Northeast at Rabindra Bharati University.
To ensure accuracy, the returning officer will prepare a statement after each round of counting, which will be verified by the election observer.
The results of every round will be immediately displayed on a notice board and announced on a public address system. After the final list is compiled, the observer will compare it with the round-wise break-up.
The round-wise results and voting trends will be available from a link on the poll panel's website ww.eci.gov.in, said Sen.