How important is Form 17C on Vote Counting day ?

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 03, 2024 IST

Pradeep Kumar Subudhi

Bhubaneswar, June 3: Form 17C plays a crucial role in the electoral process, providing essential data related to voter turnout and election results. 

Form 17C is used to capture the voting record of each polling booth.

There is one Form 17C for each polling station within a constituency.

It contains information about the total number of electors assigned to the polling station and various other details related to voting.

Structure of Form 17C::

Filled out by the presiding officer after polling.

Contains the following information:

*Total number of voters enlisted at the polling booth.

*Number of voters who entered the polling booth and had their details validated on Form 17A.

*Number of voters who did not vote despite signing the register.

*Number of voters not allowed to vote.

*Number of test votes.

*Total number of votes recorded in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

A copy of Part 1 is provided to the polling agent of each candidate.

The form is signed by both the polling agent and the presiding officer and stored securely.

Part 2:

Used to record the results of the election.

Contains a breakdown of the number of votes for each candidate.

Importance of Form 17C Data:

Candidates use the data from Form 17C during the counting process to verify details such as the EVM’s unique ID number and the number of votes polled per polling station.

If there is a discrepancy between the data in Form 17C and the data from the counting center, candidates can challenge the result.

Candidates can also file petitions in the high court based on the mismatch between the counting data and the figures in Form 17C.

Demand for Transparency:

Opposition parties and civil society have raised concerns about the Election Commission (EC) releasing only the voting percentage and not the total number of votes polled in a constituency.

The EC’s delay in releasing the figures has led to demands for greater transparency.

ADR’s Petition and EC’s Response:

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) approached the Supreme Court, seeking the uploading of all Form 17C data on the ECI website within 48 hours of polling.

The EC expressed concerns about digital manipulation and the absence of postal ballot data in Form 17C.

Additionally, counting centers lack internet connectivity, making real-time scanning and uploading impractical during ongoing elections.

Form 17C serves as a critical tool for ensuring transparency and accountability in the electoral process, allowing candidates and the public to verify voting data and election results. However, challenges related to digital security and logistical constraints must be addressed to enhance transparency further.


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