Incident of voting irregularity in Assam in 2021 linked to ongoing general elections

By: Ankita Kulkarni
May 5 2024

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Incident of voting irregularity in Assam in 2021 linked to ongoing general elections

A screenshot of a social media post alleging electoral fraud in Assam’s Dima Hasao district. (Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The incident referenced in the viral posts took place during the 2021 Assam Assembly polls and is unrelated to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Claim ID 4da15189

What is the claim?

Claims of alleged voting fraud through electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the Northeastern Indian state of Assam are going viral amid the ongoing general elections. Some online posts, like the one archived here, have claimed that electoral fraud has been reported from Assam's Dima Hasao district, which voted in the second phase of the polls on April 26.   

One such post on X (formerly) claimed, "There were only 90 voters at a booth in Dima Hasao district of Assam, but 171 votes were cast in EVM, 5 officers of Election Commission suspended(sic)." The post also included hashtags like #LokSabhaElection2024, while other posts presented the claim as "Breaking news." The archived versions of such posts can be viewed here, here, and here.

Screenshots of some viral posts on social media. (Source: X/Facebook/Modified by Logically Facts) 

However, we found that the incident referred to in the claim dates back to 2021, when the Assam state assembly elections were taking place.

What did we find? 

A Google search of the numbers and the place mentioned in the viral post led us to news reports published by The Indian Express and The Times of India. Both reports, published on April 5, 2021, were credited to PTI (Press Trust of India), an Indian news agency. The reports stated that in Assam's Dima Hasao district, a booth in the Haflong constituency had only 90 registered voters. However, during the second phase of the state assembly election held on April 1, 2021, 171 votes were cast in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM). Following the irregularity of the numbers, five officers of the election commission were suspended the next of the polling. 

The follow-up Indian Express report, published on April 6, 2021, stated that 181 votes were cast from the booth, and six polling officers were suspended. It quoted Assam's then Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade saying, "During the scrutiny of the Presiding Officer's diary and other documents, it was found that the Presiding Officer and the Polling Officers of 107-A Khothlir LP School allowed 181 persons to cast votes against the total 90 voters in that polling station." Similarly, a report by The Times of India from April 6, 2021, providing similar details, noted that repolling was ordered in auxiliary polling stations in Haflong.

India Today report also reiterated that repolling was issued in Mualdum LP School under the Haflong constituency on April 20, 2021. The report also said that more votes were cast despite the station only having 90 eligible voters as people from Mualdam Lower Primary School polling station mistakenly voted at  Khothlir LP School.  The Dima Hasao district election officer attributed this mistake to polling officials' negligence, the outlet reported.

Furthermore, the official account of Assam's Chief Electrol Officer on X (archived here) also put out a clarification on the viral claim, stating, "The incident mentioned in the said post refers to one that had taken place in the assembly election of 2021. Re-poll was conducted in that particular polling station and disciplinary proceedings against the concerned officers was taken (sic).

Logically Facts also reached out to Assam's Chief Electrol officer, Anurag Goel, who reiterated that the viral incident in question is from 2021 and is unrelated to the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.  

The verdict

An incident involving extra votes cast in Assam's Dima Hasao district during the 2021 assembly polls has been falsely shared as a recent incident amid the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false. 

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English , অসমীয়া

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