Nearly three weeks after Lok Sabha elections were held in Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission of India announced repolling in 13 polling stations. Tamil Nadu's Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo also informed that there were issues with 46 polling booths in the state, and hinted at the possibility of re-polling in all 46 booths in 13 districts owing to errors.
Repolling in the 13 booths will be held on May 19, the same day as the last phase of the general elections and will be held in eight polling stations in Dharmapuri, two in Theni and one each in Cuddalore, Tiruvallur and Erode. Although the EC did not specify which polling stations these are, it is likely that this 13 includes the 10 polling booths recommended for re-polling by the TN CEO in April.
The CEO reportedly attributed the errors in the 13 polls for which repolling has been ordered to the mock polls held before voting. Booth officials reportedly forgot to format the machines before the actual polling began, which meant that mock votes are also likely to have been counted. The State Election Commission has submitted its report on the same to the Central Election Commission in New Delhi.
The errors in 46 booths are in addition to the 10 booths from the state that have already been recommended by the CEO for re-polling. The ten booths include eight in Dharmapuri Parliamentary/Pappireddipatti Assembly constituency and one each from Cuddalore Parliamentary/Panrutti Assembly and Tiruvallur Parliamentary/Poonamallee Assembly constituencies.
On Tuesday, EVMs were shifted by the state EC from Coimbatore district to Theni. This sparked an uproar from the opposition. The CEO explained that this was as per the assessment of requirements in case of re-poll. 50 ballot units had been shifted from Coimbatore to Theni and 20 unused VVPATs from Coimbatore to Erode.
On Wednesday, the DMK petitioned the EC regarding the transfer of EVMs. Speaking to the media, the party's Organising Secretary said, "All our doubt is that in that constituency the Deputy Chief Minister's son is contesting as the AIADMK candidate (for Lok Sabha). Therefore we suspect that the bringing of 50 EVMs maybe to change them. The reason is that Deputy CM Panneerselvam had gone to Varanasi where PM Modi filed his nomination and media reports that the two of them spoke privately. Even ordinary common people may suspect that the talk was about changing EVMs."
Meanwhile, the EC also announced repolling in one polling station in Puducherry parliamentary constituency. The EC said that polling station number 10 in Kamaraj Nagar Assembly segment, which falls under Puducherry parliamentary constituency will go for polls again on May 12, since the EC declared the poll taken from the station on April 18 to be void.