Voters may soon be able to trail their ballot and confirm whether their vote on the Electronic Voting Machine has gone in favour of the candidate they chose. The trail will involve issuance of a printed slip for voter confirmation and will become a reality once the newly proposed Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) system is introduced by the Election Commission. The system comes in the wake of apprehensions expressed by political parties especially the BJP in respect of fairness of EVMs. The EC, which told the Supreme Court last week that it had recently approved the VVPAT design and sought its further fine tuning to ensure zero error, has invited the representatives of various political parties on 10 May to discuss the new system.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of India.
After standing on false prestige and even becoming vindictive against those who suspected the integrity of electronic voting machines, the Election Commission has finally acceded to the demand that the machines must issue a paper receipt to voters. The commission’s decision – made known to the Supreme Court last month in response to the plea by Dr.Subramanian Swamy, President, Janata Party that EVMs be scrapped – is a major victory for all those who were campaigning against electronic voting machines because they lacked transparency. Dr.Swamy had argued that EVMs must be scrapped because they are not tamper-proof. They could be retained only if there was transparency via a paper trail, so that every voter knew that his vote had been registered correctly. Even Japan, which started the process of electronic voting had now reverted to paper ballots. Many other countries had also fallen back on paper ballots for the same reason.The commission, which had stubbornly resisted the demand for either scrapping EVMs or introducing a paper trail, began to display some reasonableness in the matter after Dr.Swamy moved the Supreme Court and a Bench comprising Justices P.Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi declared that it would hear the matter on a priority basis, so that the proceedings concluded before the next parliamentary election.
The state election commission is seriously considering a proposal to provide e-voting facility to pravasi Malayalis in the local self-government elections in 2015, said state election commissioner K Sasidharan Nair. The state election commission authorities had a preliminary discussion with the agency that executed the e-voting facility in the Gujarat elections. “The commission can implement it here only after discussing with all political parties and technical experts from the field,” Nair said after holding discussions with the representatives of Scytl, the agency which conducted the first internet voting in Gujarat, here on Monday. The commission would like to know the apprehensions of political leaders and voters while introducing such a system in the state.
The Election Commission (EC) has asked the Union home ministry to probe the alleged violation of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by both the Congress and the BJP by receiving donations of about Rs 5 crore each from Vedanta Group subsidiaries — Sterlite Industries and Sesa Goa. Nirvachan Sadan sources told TOI that the Representation of People Act (RPA) debarred political parties from receiving contribution for a foreign source defined under clause (e) of the Section 2 of the FCRA, 1976. The FCRA, too, states that it has been formulated “to ensure that the foreign contribution and foreign hospitality is not utilized to affect or influence electoral politics, public servants, judges and other people working in the important areas of national life like journalists, printers and publishers of newspapers among others.”
Senior BJP leader LK Advani on Tuesday said he is in favour of granting voting rights to Indians and people of Indian-origin settled abroad. Advani, who is leading a group of visiting Indian Parliamentarians here to attend sessions of the UN General Assembly, addressed a large gathering of Indian-Americans and community leaders at an event organised over the weekend by the Overseas Friend of BJP in Edison, New Jersey. He said Indians living abroad have been making efforts to get voting rights and wish to participate in the electoral process of their country. “I want that all Indians and people of Indian origin living abroad should get voting rights. It will be a very good step,” Advani said, adding that this can be made possible only when there are changes in India and the country’s laws.
India: Election Commission restrains political parties from using animals in election campaigns | The Times of India
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has issued orders restraining use of animals by political parties in election campaigns. The directions follow complaints from individuals and voluntary organizations alleging cruelty towards animals during election campaigns. In the complaints made to ECI it has been alleged that animals like horses, ponies, donkeys, elephants, camels, bulls etc are subjected to cruelty in different ways in election campaigns. It is further alleged that the animals are often made to carry loads beyond permissible limits, made to work for long hours, and some candidates even paint slogans and election symbols on the bodies of animals using harmful chemicals.
The Supreme Court today agreed to take up for hearing on priority basis Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy’s plea to incorporate paper printouts in electronic voting machines or restore paper balloting system allegedly because EVMs “are not tamper proof.” ”We will hear the matter on a priority basis so that it is concluded by the next parliamentary elections. That is the reason we are giving the priority,” said a bench of justices P Sathasivam and Ranjan Gogoi. The bench adjourned the matter for further hearing on September 27 after hearing Swamy’s submission for over an hour and asked the Election Commission to be prepared with its submission.
The Kerala State Election Commission (SEC) Monday decided to request the state government to amend the laws and make photo-ID cards mandatory for the electorate in the local bodies polls. Speaking to IANS, an official attached to the state election commission said the panel would ask the state government to amend the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act and the Kerala Municipalities Act to enforce photo-ID rule.
Election officials counted votes Tuesday in crucial polls in five Indian states that could provide a boost for the ruling Congress party’s national coalition, or cripple it for the last two years of its term. The most critical results are expected from the country’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, where Rahul Gandhi has put his reputation on the line for a strong Congress party showing. Gandhi, touted as Congress’ next prime ministerial candidate, campaigned relentlessly for months to oust the government of Mayawati and her Bahujan Samaj Party, which represents bottom caste dalits. If Congress doesn’t significantly build on the paltry 22 seats it controls in the 403-strong state assembly, it would be a devastating blow to Gandhi’s aspirations to be taken seriously as a national leader.
During first two phases of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, over 300 voters chose not to vote for any candidate and exercised the “Section 49-o” option available to them under Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961. However, lakhs of others who did not find any contestant “suitable” preferred to skip voting by staying at home. Citizens now want that ‘no-vote’ option must be available on Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and number of such voters should be counted. During 2009 Lok Sabha (LS) and assembly polls, many exercised the Section 49-o They, however, had to face nightmares at polling booths as officers were completely unaware of this provision.