With the historic victory of BJP in the Assembly Elections 2017 for UP and other states, many competing parties have raised doubts over EVMs (electronic voting machines) being used for the polls. They believe the system had been rigged to register votes in favor of the winning party, here BJP.
Commonly known as EVM, the present technology channelized in these electronic voting machines enables the voter to forward his support to a candidate from his constituency from the nearest polling booth. Due to the concerns surfaced by political parties and disappointed voters, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing is now working on a next-gen EVM.
This development was initially shared by TOI. It reports that outgoing director general Rajat Moona has submitted a proposal for the same to the ministry. So far, the idea is still in the preliminary stage and no talks have been held with Election Commission as well.
Dictating the working of the future EVMs, Moona said,
If a voter goes to the nearest polling station, he can tell the presiding officer his state, district and constituency he wants to cast his vote in. The presiding officer will key in the information into the EVMs which may show the list of candidates and party symbols in the constituency registered in the voter’s name and he can cast his vote.
The newly developed machines will keep a check on tampering activities during the election days, hence dismissing the complaints presented by defeated participants. The latest development by CDAC will allow users to cast their vote even from anywhere in India — for any constituency where their name is registered. The system will especially benefit the Indian
The new system will especially benefit the defence personnel. Currently, officers at the borders can download postal ballot forms and send it to the returning officer via post. The said e-ballot system was generated by the centre back in 2014.
The idea for developing new, more secure EVMs will be implemented only when the computing institution receives approval from the Election Commission. It will be sending the proposal to the Central Government soon, although it will take a while for this kind of EVM to become operational in India. The EC will study the proposal and then, after the approval of the central government, the idea will be materialised.
On being asked about the scope of implementation, Moona said,
It depends on the level at which the government wants to implement it. If it’s for the local civic elections, voters can vote from any constituency at the grassroot level. The same can be applied at the state and central level.
Moona, who is also a member of the technical committee for EVMs formed by the central government, further emphasized upon the security measures taken during the recent polls. He dismissed tampering allegations by reasoning that the machines have no antennas to receive or transmit messages. Every machine goes through three mock tests and is kept in high-security vaults. The government also has an option of recounting votes with the existing method which drained the questions so asked.
Extending his views on the idea, Jageshwar Saharia, State election commissioner, said,
We always welcome new ideas. We have not received any proposal yet and so I can’t comment on the technical aspects.Even with the present system, bogus voting and fake documents are prevalent. We are thinking about measures to nullify bogus voting.
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