Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab Dr S Karuna Raju on Wednesday informed that all the necessary arrangements have been made for the counting of votes for the Punjab Assembly Elections 2022.He said that counting of votes for 117 Assembly constituencies of Punjab would take place on March 10, 2022 from 8 am onwards. He said that 117 counting centers have been set up at 66 locations in the state.The CEO said the three-tier security measures have been set up with deployment of 45 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) at all the 117 counting centers. As many as 7500 personnel will be deputed for the counting process in the state, he added.Dr Raju said that Media Centers have been set up at each counting center to facilitate the media where the information about the counting rounds would be shared with the journalists. He informed that as many as 3562 identity cards have been issued to journalists for their entry at counting centres and with the permission of Returning Officers, journalists are allowed to go to some specified extent at the counting centres. He said that except from the still and video cameramen deployed for government record, no one else will be allowed to permanently station the video or still camera at the counting center.
The CEO said that a 100-meter radius around the counting centre area has been declared a "Pedestrian Zone" and no one will be allowed to drive in that zone. He said that to prevent the entry of any unauthorised persons in the counting centres, three-tier cordoning points have been set up outside the counting centres. He said that the first cordning point had been established at the beginning of a 100 meter radius, where senior magistrates along with the required police force remained to control the crowd. The second cordning point would be at the gate of the counting centre, where the State Armed Police Forces have been deployed, while the third cordoning point has been set up at the entrance of the counting hall, which will be manned by the CAPF.He said that as per the instructions of Election Commission of India (ECI) a maximum of 14 counting tables would be set up at each counting center. In addition, separate tables will be set up for counting of the ETPB issued to service voters and officers/staff engaged in election duty.
Dr Raju said that in view of the vote counting, Section 144 has been imposed in all the districts by the District Election Officers-cum-Deputy Commissioners and gathering of people outside the counting centres is prohibited. He said that as per the instructions of the ECI, only two persons can accompany the winning candidate or his official representative to the counting centre to collect the certificate, while victory procession is also prohibited.He said that information regarding the results of the Punjab Assembly Elections can be obtained from the official website of the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab "https://www.ceopunjab.gov.in" or "https://results.eci.gov.in". Apart from this, results can also be obtained from Voter Helpline Mobile Application, he added. In addition, Dr Raju also said that the day of counting i.e. March 10, 2022 has been declared a dry day by the government till the counting of votes is completed.
Dr Raju also asked all the officials involved in the counting process, media persons and other people coming at counting centres to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines.Dr Raju also clarified that mobile phones/iPads, laptops or any other such electronic device which can record sound and video are not allowed to take in the counting centers. He clarified that these prohibition orders would not apply on the observers deputed by the Commission. Besides this, it will also be allowed to carry the required computer, laptop or mobile device to officially upload the counting related data on the Encore software.