Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Election Commission purchases separate plane tickets for presidential ballot boxes

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For the Presidential election, the Election Commission sent ballot boxes to 14 states and union territories, which were booked with separate ‘two way’ air tickets under the name ‘Mr Ballot box’ for the journey.

As the presidential election voting concluded on Monday, the ballot boxes boarded separate flights under the name ‘Mr Ballot box,’ accompanied by election officers, for their return trip to Delhi from the state capitals.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) sent ballot boxes to 14 states and Union territories for the Presidential polls. The ballot boxes were booked with separate ‘two way’ air tickets under the name ‘Mr Ballot box’ for the journey.

Previously, supervising officials sent the boxes as hand luggage. This year, however, the commission has reserved two-way tickets for the ballot boxes.

The seats next to the ballot boxes are occupied by election officers. The officers are in charge of transporting ballot papers and special pens for voting.

These boxes will be crucial in determining whether Droupadi Murmu or Yashwant Sinha will be the next occupant of Rashtrapati Bhavan when the votes are counted on July 21.

But why are these ballot boxes being flown on separate planes?

In a press statement issued last week, the ECI said, “ The Ballot Box has a prominent role in the process of presidential elections — being no ordinary box, as it is to hold the fate of the highest office of the largest democracy on the planet. Thus, the mandated procedure specifies special caution during the transportation, storage, and use of these boxes. Particularly for the conduct of presidential elections, the process also involves a fascinating journey of the Ballot Box reaching every state capital.”

It further said, “During transportation, the Ballot Boxes fly on a separate air ticket booked in the name of ‘Mr Ballot Box’ seated in the front row of the aircraft beside the seat of the officer transporting the materials under personal supervision.”

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