Mawhati violation

Shillong, March 01: Chief Election Officer of Meghalaya FR Kharkongor on Wednesday urged authorities to investigate an alleged violation of the secrecy of voting that occurred at the Mawhati Assembly Constituency in Meghalaya’s Ri-Bhoi district during the Assembly elections on February 27.

The CEO also directed the District Election Officer to submit the action report by March 3.

This comes after an alleged image went viral in which a voter allegedly took a picture of himself pressing the voting button for a particular candidate, in violation of instructions that mobile phones are not allowed at the polling station.

According to the CEO, the incident occurred at 35-Shiliang Umdoh Polling Station under 8-Mawhati Assembly Constituency.

“It has come to the notice of the undersigned, that apparently, there is a viral image circulating in social media, with a photograph allegedly depicting a voter pressing the ballot button, in favour of a particular candidate in the ballot unit, which tantamounts to violation of the secrecy of voting, despite strict instructions issued to ensure that voters at polling stations should not be allowed to carry mobile phones, inside the voting compartment,” a letter from the CEO to the Nongpoh District Election Officer said.

“In connection with the apparent violation above, which appears to be an aberration, and in your capacity as District Election Officer, Ri-Bhoi District, where the above aberration appeared to have been committed, you are hereby directed to cause immediate inquiry, with a view to ascertaining the facts of the above-alleged violation, which reportedly occurred in 35-Shiliang Umdoh Polling Station under 8-Mawhati Assembly Constituency,” he said.

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The CEO also instructed to take strict action against the concerned polling officials of the polling station and also initiate penal action against the alleged voter who violated his secrecy of vote “after ascertaining the necessary facts of the above case”.

“Action taken report is to be furnished to the office of the undersigned without fail not later than 3rd March 2023,” he said.

Meghalaya recorded over 81 percent polling on February 27. Polling across 3419 polling stations in Meghalaya went to polls.

Counting of votes for the Meghalaya Assembly polls will be done on Thursday along with Tripura and Nagaland.