Tension is clearly visible on the candidates as the civic body election nears its final phase of counting. The future of 2,275 candidates from 227 wards of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will be sealed in the next few hours with the counting of votes all set to begin at 10 am on Thursday.
After the voting concluded in the 7,304 booths on 21 February, a total of 7,743 EVMs were sealed and kept under the supervision of the state police and other security agencies. These EVMS will be counted in 23 centres across the city. The BMC had earlier declared that each centre will count votes from a minimum of eight to 10 wards.
With overall counting expected to last anywhere from two-three hours, the fate of most contestants is expected to be declared by noon, and with it the name of the political party that will be running the commercial capital of the country for the next five years.
The current edition of the Mumbai civic body election witnessed a record voter turnout of 55 percent (highest since 1992) as compared to the 44.75 percent voting recorded in 2012. And while the voting turnout went up by 11 percent, names of more than 10 lakh voters were dropped from the voters' list.
In 2012, the total number of voters in Mumbai stood at 102 lakh while this time, the number of total voters was reduced to 91.80 lakhs. In 2012, the percentage of voting was 44.75 percent, which brings the numbers of voters to 46.03 lakh. Since the voter turnout in 2017 BMC election was 55 percent (of 91.80 lakh voters), the total number of voters stands at 50.97 lakh. What it means is that as compared to 2012, Mumbai witnessed an increase of just 4.5 lakh voters.
In the last election, the winning margins were anywhere from 3 votes to 100 votes in 35 seats. So, it will be interesting to see how vote margins play out between candidates. Normally, the winning margin in any corporation election is between 100 to 500 votes, but this time it might go down and most likely turn into a close fight with all five political parties contesting solo in the election.
How counting usually takes place
"The counting process will begin at 10 am in the presence of the counting agent of each candidate, a supervisor from the state and the BMC, and all the candidates," said former election supervisor Suvarnkant Naik.
Speaking with Firstpost, Naik claimed that the first hour goes into counting all the EVMs. Thereafter, the EVMs from the same wards are grouped together and placed on a table each. Then, the ward number is written on each table.
"Before counting begins, the EVM seal is shown to everyone present for counting. Once satisfied with the seal, each member signs on a paper. It's only after that the count of votes received by each candidate is announced," he added.
Earlier, when EVMs were not in use, the counting system required a minimum of three to five rounds of counting. Each EVM can count 1,200 votes, and in one machine there's facility to include names of 15 candidates. So, if any ward has more than more than 15 candidates then a second EVM is used.
The first results are expected to be declared by 12 noon and the overall results of all the 227 wards before 2 pm, Naik added.
There are 23 election officers, 23 assistant election officers and 966 BMC employees deployed to carry out the counting process on Thursday, said BG Pawar, DMC.
The State Election Commission has spent more than Rs 95 crore on the BMC election.
There were 2275 candidates who in the election of which 1,190 were male and 1,084 female. A political party or alliance will need the support of at least 114 corporators to prove majority in the municipal corporation. Though traditional allies, the BJP and Shiv Sena, fought the election solo, there is still a possibility that the parties may form a post-poll alliance.
But whether or not that will happen, we will have to wait for te final results.
Total wards: 227
Total Candidates: 2,275
Male Candidates: 1,190
Women Candidates: 1,084
Male Voters: 50,30,361
Women Voters: 41,49,749
Transgender Voters: 381
Average voters in wards: 40,442
Total booth place: 1,152
Total booths: 7,304
Employees for voting: 42,749
Voting Machines: 7,343
Total expenses: 94,90,50,000
For live updates on BMC election results, click here.
Updated Date: Feb 23, 2017 09:04 AM