The declaration of election results of Lok Sabha in Odisha is likely to be delayed compared to other states since votes for assembly polls will also have to be counted, a senior election official said on Monday.
Besides, voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs) will also have to be counted and that will also take some time, state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar said.
The votes will be counted across the country on May 23.
"The vote counting in Odisha will require more time as the state is conducting simultaneous polls for both the Lok Sabha and the assembly," Kumar said while addressing a training programme of Returning Officers in Bhubaneswar.
While the counting of Lok Sabha votes will be held in 14 tables across the country, in Odisha it will be 7 tables each for the Lok Sabha and the state Assembly, the CEO said adding that declaration of results will take time in Odisha for this reason.
CEO Surendra Kumar said for the first time, the VVPATs are to be counted along with the votes in the EVMs.
As per a Supreme Court order, the VVPAT slips of five EVMs in every constituency need to be counted. The VVPAT will be selected on a random basis through a transparent lottery system, the CEO said.
He said at least 45 minutes are required to complete the process of such sequential counting of VVPATs.
In view of the prevailing heat wave condition in the state, counting halls across the state will be air-conditioned for the first time, Kumar said.
Polling for 21 Lok Sabha constituencies and 147 assembly was held in the state in four phases on April 11, 19, 23 and 29. The EVMs are now in the safe strong room since completion of the fourth phase of elections.