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EVM lessons for poll team in steel city

- Men & the machines

As many as 7,156 government officials, who will man 1,626 polling booths in Jamshedpur constituency during the Lok Sabha elections on April 17, attended the first phase of EVM training at four separate centres in the city on Tuesday.

The training, which took place at the auditoriums of Rajendra Vidyalaya, Motilal Nehru Public School and XLRI besides Birsa Munda Town Hall, was held after the Election Commission directed that presiding and polling officials of each booth would have to attend three such sessions before the polls.

In each of the four centres, experts used PowerPoint presentations and hands-on demonstration of EVMs to show the officials how the machines worked.

Nodal officer of the training cell Arun Kumar Gupta said the polling officials were instructed on the various steps to be followed before and after voting as well as the importance of maintaining records.

“The officials were taught how to connect the EVMs before voting begins and seal them at the end of it, conduct mock polling in the presence of election agents deputed by political parties and other precautionary measures that needed to be followed for holding the polls seamlessly,” he said.

The official added that the trainees were also given tips to ensure safety, security and privacy of voters.

Special stress was laid on paperwork involved in the voting process.

“The training focused on paper sealing of EVMs, attaching special tags and helping people find names on the voter list. In order to ensure that EVMs are working properly, officials were told to conduct mock polling an hour before voting begins in the presence of election agents of various parties. They were also told to fill up compulsory forms to secure records of votes polled,” Gupta added.

Trainers also answered questions raised by polling officials regarding operation of EVMs and their specific role and duties.

In each booth, one presiding and three polling officials will be deputed to supervise the electoral process. This apart, the administration has earmarked standby personnel to step in during an emergency.

Dhalbhum SDO Prem Ranjan, also the assistant electoral officer of the constituency, said the remaining sessions would be held before April 11.