Election Commission for new machine to enhance voter secrecy - Alternative Media Forum


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Friday, 3 April 2015

Election Commission for new machine to enhance voter secrecy

NEW DELHI(PTI): The Election Commission wants to use a new machine which prevents disclosure of voting pattern during counting to enhance voter secrecy and has received the backing of the Law Commission, but the government is yet to take a final call on the issue.

The EC has approached the Law Ministry with a proposal to introduce 'Totaliser' machine for counting of votes. The poll panel is of the view that by use of Totaliser, a further level of secrecy in voting and the mixing of votes at the time of counting will be achieved, which will prevent the disclosure of pattern of voting at a particular polling station.

The Law Ministry is the administrative ministry for the poll body. But the government has not taken a considered view on introduction of the machine. It told the Supreme Court recently that the views of the Law Commission would be sought on the use of Totaliser for counting of votes.

The law panel, in its report on electoral reforms submitted to the government last month has supported the use of the new machine. It has recommended amendment to the Conduct of Election Rules to give EC powers to use Totaliser for mixing of votes where it apprehends intimidation and victimisation of electors in any constituency.

The rationale behind EC's proposal was that the current system revealed the voting trends in each polling station, thus leaving the voters in that vicinity open to harassment, intimidation and post-election victimisation. "Prior to the introduction of EVMs, ballot papers could be mixed, wherever it was considered absolutely necessary under the Conduct of Election Rules in light of apprehended intimidation and victimisation of electors.

However, EVMs do not permit this," the law panel noted in its report.

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