In charts: The times when ECI junked your votes and asked for a repoll

The ECI orders re-elections due to many factors, including electoral fraud, violence, malfunctions in electronic voting machines, and administrative errors. (REPRESENTATIVE PIC) (HT_PRINT)
The ECI orders re-elections due to many factors, including electoral fraud, violence, malfunctions in electronic voting machines, and administrative errors. (REPRESENTATIVE PIC) (HT_PRINT)

Summary

In the last three Lok Sabha elections, a total of 1,474 polling stations across 223 constituencies have seen repolls being held for various reasons

Earlier this month, the Election Commission of India ordered repolling at a polling station in Gujarat’s Dahod Lok Sabha constituency. The reason? A man had gone viral live-streaming while voting at the booth on 7 May, after which the poll body deemed the votes that had already been cast as worthless, and decided to repeat the process. The digital era may throw up new reasons for repolls, but the phenomenon isn’t new.

While full data for the ongoing elections is not yet available, past data shows that in the last three Lok Sabha polls, a total of 1,474 polling stations across 223 constituencies saw repolls being held for various reasons—though rarely for reasons such as voters live-streaming themselves.

Follow our election-related data analysis in the “In Charts" and "Plain Facts" sections.

Odisha, Bihar, and Tripura saw the maximum number of repolls, accounting for nearly half of all repolls held in India in 2009, 2014, and 2019, a Mint analysis of the ECI statistical reports showed.

Also read: How many polling stations does it take to conduct India's elections?

Odisha saw 294 polling stations going for repolls, but 226 of them were in 2019 alone. Out of this, 182 were held in a single constituency (Aska), while other seats saw few repolls. On the flip side, not a single repoll was held in these three years in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Lakshadweep. Among larger states, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab stood out with 10 or fewer repolls.

Also Read: The voting patterns of India’s biggest cities: What data shows

The reasons for repolls can be varied, hence there appears to be no consistent pattern. Tripura, for instance, saw 168 repolls in 2019, all in one constituency, but had none in the preceding two elections.

In Bihar, as many as 182 polling stations across 17 seats saw repolling in 2009. In 2014 as well, the state had 66 repolls, one of the highest in the country. But in 2019, this number shrank to just three.

Also Read: What data says about India’s reluctant electors

Similarly, Rajasthan's repoll numbers dropped from 61 in 2009 to five in 2014 and zero in 2019.

The ECI tends to order re-elections due to many factors, such as electoral fraud, violence, malfunctions in electronic voting machines, administrative errors, or instances of voter impersonation. In the ongoing elections, apart from Dahod, the ECI has ordered repolls in several seats in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, and also in Farrukhabad seat of Uttar Pradesh after a 17-year-old allegedly voted multiple times.

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