Ballot paper voting for constituencies with over 100 candidates? A fact-check

A Twitter handle, @Alishorab007 tweeted that there will no voting via Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and instead ballot paper will be used for constituencies with more than 100 candidates. The message reads, “जहां कहीं भी 100 से अधिक उम्मीदवार होंगें वहां EVM का इस्तेमाल नहीं हो पाएगा… अगर आप चाहते हैं कि आपके क्षेत्र में चुनाव EVM से न होकर बैलेट पेपर से हो तो… अपने अपने क्षेत्र से अधिक से अधिक उम्मीदवारों का चुनाव में खड़ा रहने में मदद करें और लोकतंत्र को बचा लें “. It also urges people to get as many candidates as possible to be nominated in their constituencies because EVMs cannot cover more than 100 candidates.

It may be noted over here that according to earlier reports published with reference to Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency in Telangana, ballot papers were likely to be used for polling as 185 candidates are contesting the election.

Claim debunked by ECI

On March 29, the official spokesperson of the Election Commission of India (ECI), Sheyphali Saran in a series of tweets debunked the claim that ECI will have to use ballot papers for constituencies with more than 100 candidates.

Rubbishing the rumour, the spokesperson clarified, “Latest EVMs can take upto 384 candidates including NOTA. Wherever required those EVMs will be deployed”. Moreover, she also urged people not to heed factually incorrect statements.

Nizamabad constituency

Addressing a presser clarifying the uncertainty on conducting the election with EVM as reported by the media, Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha said, “Hyderabad was the place where EVM was first made and it is now making history once again by being the state where the largest number of ballot units is being used in one constituency. Earlier, a maximum of four ballot units were used in the country. Now, in Nizamabad for the first time, 12 ballot units connected to one control unit will be used.”

In conclusion, the Election Commission of India can conduct the election up to 384 candidates including NOTA by using 12 EVM ballots units connected to one control unit. A precedent will also be set on April 11 with the elections to be conducted in Nizamabad constituency, which has 185 candidates contesting the election, with Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).

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