The Election Commission of India (EC) will begin counting votes for the 17th Lok Sabha Election on May 23.
The final results are likely to be delayed this time by four to six hours because of the introduction of additional Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) counting.
The Lok Sabha elections were held in seven phases across the 542 parliamentary constituencies from April 11 to May 19. Approximately 60 crore voters have cast ballots across 10 lakh booths in 29 states and seven union territories.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partners are hoping to retain power at the Centre. This is amid efforts by several Opposition parties, including Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, to put up a united fight. 'Others' or the 'third front' is also trying to wrest power.
The general election witnessed a mega campaign from key political players such as PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi, BJP chief Amit Shah, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati of the Mahagathbandhan and several other senior BJP and Opposition leaders.
When does the counting of votes begin on May 23?
Counting happens in the presence of the Returning Officer (RO) of the constituency and candidates and their agents. It is expected to begin at 8.00 am.
The RO declares the result when he or she is certain that counting has been successfully completed.
In addition, the EC appoints its observers to oversee the process and ensure that it happens in a transparent manner.
Each candidate can appoint up to 16 counting agents from his/her party for each place of counting. The counting agent takes care of the interests of the party.
For more on the counting process, click here
Where can I watch live counting of votes on May 23?
Readers can follow Moneycontrol’s Lok Sabha Election Results 2019 live blog
, besides our other live blogs, analyses articles, opinion pieces and videos for both – the Lok Sabha polls and the four Assembly elections (Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh).
Moneycontrol will keep bringing you the latest updates from across all 542 constituencies. The live blogs will also inform readers about which candidate is leading or trailing in different constituencies.
There will be a counting widget showing the results tally on the Moneycontrol homepage and the Lok Sabha elections 2019 page.
In keeping with its push for digitalisation, the EC has designed an interactive website (results.eci.gov.in), complete with a countdown.
The website also allows viewers to check constituency-wise and party-wise results and trends.
Results and trends can also be checked on the Election Commissions's Android app Voter Helpline, which will provide candidate-wise, party-wise and constituency-wise updates.
One can also 'bookmark' a candidate to get real-time updates on his/her performance, as also the depiction of each party's vote share in graphical format.
Moreover, voters can also check the results of their constituency by scanning the barcode of their EPIC number through the app.
To know more, read how you can check Lok Sabha Election Results 2019 on the Election Commission website and app.
When does counting end?
It depends. For some assembly elections, the counting has gone on till late in the night; but it typically ends by evening, while the provisional results are, by and large, known by the afternoon.
This time, however, results might be delayed by around five hours, according to the EC. This is due to an increase in the number of VVPAT verification to five random EVMs.
In April, the Supreme Court had ordered the EC to increase VVPAT slips from one EVM per Assembly constituency to five.
When will be the results be announced?
The results are likely to be declared on May 23.
FAQ: The complete guide to Lok Sabha election 2019
How do they count the postal ballots?
The postal ballot (PB) process is reserved for service officers, their spouses, those on polling duty, electors subject to preventive detention etc.
The postal ballots are counted only at the Returning Officer's table. The voters are provided with Cover A, which contains the ballot paper. The voters are also provided with Cover B, containing Form 13A.
On the counting day, Cover B is opened and attestation in Form 13 A is checked. If it has been properly attested and the number of PB written in 13 A, matches with the number written on Cover A, only then is Cover A opened and ballots counted.
It normally takes about half an hour for the PBs to be counted, after which counting for the EVMs can be started.
How is counting done when Lok Sabha and assembly elections are held simultaneously?
Counting for both is done in the same counting hall. One side of the hall is reserved for counting of Lok Sabha votes while the other is reserved for the state assemblies.
FAQ: All you need to know about 2019 Lok Sabha election Counting Day
How many constituencies are there in India?
Lok Sabha polls: For latest updates, analysis and opinions, click here
There are a total of 543 constituencies in India that are represented by 543 members of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha.
These members are elected directly by the citizens of India. The 29 states send 530 MPs to the Lok Sabha, while the seven Union Territories send 13 MPs.
However, it is important to note that there are a total of 545 members in the Lok Sabha, out of which 543 are elected and two are nominated by the President of India.
This time, polling happened only in 542 constituencies after the election in Vellore, Tamil Nadu was cancelled after a cash haul.