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ECI defends timely release of voter turnout data amid false narrative claims

The Election Commission of India (ECI) welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to refrain from issuing directives on a plea for uploading Form 17C data, asserting that voter turnout data has been promptly shared and remains transparent. The ECI emphasized that attempts to create false narratives are designed to undermine the electoral process.

The ECI clarified that there has been no delay in releasing voter turnout data. Constituency-wise data has consistently been available to candidates and the public via the Voter Turnout App. The Commission also released absolute voter numbers for all completed phases, information that stakeholders could already access by applying turnout percentages to the total electorate.

Form 17C data, detailing votes polled, is shared on polling day with agents of all candidates, ensuring that this information cannot be altered. This data is available for each of the 543 parliamentary constituencies and across approximately 1.05 million polling stations.

The ECI expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s decision, interpreting it as an endorsement of the Commission’s processes. The Supreme Court, while declining to pass interim directions on the plea for uploading Form 17C data, observed the need for a “hands-off” approach in the midst of the ongoing elections. The plea, filed by the NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), sought the publication of authenticated voter turnout data within 48 hours of polling.

The Commission reiterated that while it has issued 13 press notes on voter turnout for five phases, any delays in press notes do not equate to a lack of data availability. The voter turnout data has consistently been accessible through the Voter Turnout App.

The ECI affirmed its commitment to maintaining electoral transparency and integrity, viewing the Supreme Court’s stance as reinforcing its responsibilities in upholding democratic processes.

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Last Updated: 22nd Jun 2024