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EVM glitches mar voting in seven states

NEW DELHI

Technical glitches in electronic voting machines (EVM) marred voting in seven of the 12 states that went to polls in the second phase of the staggered Lok Sabha elections.

Faulty EVMs delayed polls in several constituencies in Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir, officials said.

In Odisha, EVM glitches in many booths in Talsara Assembly constituency were reported while polling was delayed in six booths in Bonai Assembly constituency. Odisha saw both Lok Sabha as well as Assembly elections.

Booths in Kendudihi, Bolangir and Kandhamal, G.Udayagiri and Baliguda in Odisha were also affected.

In Uttar Pradesh, EVMs malfunctioned and disrupted polling in Mathura, Bulandshahr and Amroha. In Fatehpur Sikri, voters created a ruckus at booth no 201 and 54 where polling was on hold for more than 30 minutes due to EVM troubles.

There were also reports of snags in the VVPAT (voter-verified paper audit trail)-EVMs in Nanded, Latur and Solapur in Maharashtra which either delayed polling or stopped it midway.

Unofficial reports said at least 75 EVMs were replaced with spare ones in polling stations in Nanded alone.

Admitting that there were complaints against EVMs in some booths in Karnataka, Joint Chief Electoral Officer A.V. Surya Sen said they were replaced soon.

“We have given extra EVMS to all the polling booths to replace any machine having glitches or malfunctioning. Technical officials have been stationed at the booths to replace them at the earliest to avoid voters waiting for their turn,” added Sen.

In the Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu, voters stood in queue in several booths for nearly an hour to vote.

Similarly, at a booth in Chennai, there was a technical glitch that delayed voting for about an hour.

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo told reporters that 384 faulty EVMs and 692 faulty VVPAT machines were replaced across the state. After that, polling went on smoothly.

EVM problems were also reported in Bihar’s Purnea, Katihar and Banka seats and in Ramban in the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency in Jammu and Kashmir.

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