Asia

Articles about voting issues in Asia, Australia and Oceania.

India: Election Commission to buy VVPAT machines in 2 years, issues letter of intent to manufacturers | India TV

The Election Commission has issued a letter of intent for purchase of 16,15,000 Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail ( VVPAT) machines in the next two years to be used in all polling stations in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Commission issued letter of intent to ECIL and BEL — both PSUs — on Friday, two days after the Union Cabinet cleared its proposal to buy 16,15000 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units at an estimated cost of Rs 3,173.47 crore. The poll panel has informed them that the machines would be bought during 2017-18 and 2018-19.  The Commission will buy 8,07,500 VVPAT units each from the two manufacturers by September, 2018.  Read More

India: Congress questions Government’s ability to provide VVPATs by 2019 elections | Deccan Chronicle

With the Election Commission’s decision to monitor production of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) by the 2019 assembly elections, the Congress Party on Thursday questioned the government’s ability of providing these machines. “We need at least 16 lakh Paper Trail machines before the 2019 elections. Whether the government will be able to fulfill the target or not is a crucial question. It’s a much wider issue and for the purity of election process it is essential. If the EVMs are not functionally accurate then they cannot be used,” Congress leader K.C. Mittal said. He further said the issue needs to be investigated by expert committees. “In the 2014 parliamentary elections I had raised objections. There is something wrong with the EVMs. The Uttar Pradesh Election Commissioner says he cannot hold municipal elections with the earlier EVMs. Then why were the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh held on the same EVMs? These questions need to be answered,” he added. Read More

Indonesia: Jakarta election: 64,000 police, soldiers deployed to prevent intimidation as voters head to polls | ABC

Jakarta police say they are prepared for unrest as residents head to one of the most bitterly fought elections the city has ever seen. In a sign of the potential threat, a mass of more than 64,000 police, soldiers and security offices will be deployed across the capital. Indonesia’s police chief has warned against the intimidation of voters with the poll being heavily fought on religious grounds. At the capital’s national monument, known as Monas, officers rehearse drills ahead of the poll. “The brief to us is to control the crowd,” commander Muhammad Alwafi told the ABC. Read More

India: Cabinet clears Election Commission’s proposal to buy new paper trail machines | The Indian Express

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, cleared the Election Commission’s proposal to buy new Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines on Wednesday. Ahead of the 2019 General Elections, the EC has been given the go ahead to procure 16,15,000 units, at an estimated base price of Rs. 3,173.47 crore. Since June 2014, the EC has reportedly given at least 11 reminders to the Centre seeking funds for VVPAT machines. “Amount of Rs. 3173 crores have been approved to acquire 16.15 lakh VVPAT machines,” confirmed Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday, reported news agency ANI. Read More

Indonesia: Jakarta to vote amid religious tensions | Reuters

Jakarta voters head to the polls on Wednesday to elect a governor for Indonesia’s capital after a campaign that incited political and religious tensions in the world’s most populous Muslim country. The race to lead the city of more than 10 million has been fought by two candidates – an ethnic Chinese Christian and a Muslim. It has triggered mass protests and stirred religious and political tensions in the world’s third largest democracy. Read More

Philippines: Marcos son takes step towards recount of Philippine VP vote | Reuters

The son of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos on Monday took a step towards securing a recount of votes in an election for vice president last year in which he says he was unfairly robbed of victory. The son, also called Ferdinand Marcos but popularly known as Bongbong, lost the election for vice president last May to social activist and lawyer Leni Robredo by about 260,000 votes. He has objected to the result ever since and the Supreme Court ruled in February that his protest was valid, but he has to pay for a recount of the votes. Read More

India: Election Commission wants more funds to buy VVPAT machines that generate paper trail of votes | Hindustan Times

The Election Commission has again knocked on the government’s door for immediate release of funds to procure voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, following the Opposition parties raising their pitch for abandoning electronic voting machines (EVMs) for paper ballots. In a terse letter to the law ministry, the election commission has made an oblique reference to the skepticism over the use of EVMs by the Opposition parties. “It is felt that the process of procurement of VVPATs cannot be delayed any longer given prevailing environment,” the commission said in its letter on March 22. Sources said this is the 11th reminder to the government, though EC officials did not confirm this. Read More

India: Come, prove electronic voting machines can be tampered with, EC challenges sceptics | Times of India

With Congress, Left, AAP and others claiming that electronic voting machines were manipulated to favour BJP, the Election Commission on Wednesday threw a challenge to political parties, scientists and technical experts to prove that EVMs could be tampered with. The open challenge, which will be on the lines of a similar exercise undertaken in 2009, follows doubts raised by several opposition parties which met the EC and have also petitioned the President. These also include BSP, SP and RJD. The allegations have been raised in the context of BJP’s landslide win in the UP assembly elections. Read More

India: Election Commission challenges political parties, experts to hack, tamper their electronic voting machines | News Nation

The Election Commission on Wednesday dared political parties and experts through “open challenge” by inviting them to hack their EVMs and show they can be tampered with. While the Commission is yet to decide on the exact date, it said the challenge would be held in the first week of Mayand could continue for ten days. The last time such an event had taken place was in 2009 when 100 machines from different parts of the country were kept at Vigyan Bhawan. No one, EC claimed, could hack the electronic voting machines. When Delhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal had met Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi with a complaint on EVMs last week, he was told that the poll panel is planning such an event. This time, the venue could be Nirvachan Sadan, the ECheadquarters. The specifics would be decided by the Commission’s technical expert committee on EVMs and the details would be made public in the next couple of days.  Read More

Cambodia: Audit Gives Thumbs-Up To Voter List; Doubts Linger | The Cambodia Daily

Rectifying one of the greatest sources of outrage and discontent surrounding previous elections, the voter list compiled for upcoming commune elections has passed an audit with flying colors, though commentators remain skeptical as to whether the country will actually witness free and fair elections on June 4. The Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) on Tuesday published its full report on the completely remade voter list, following the NGO coalition’s release of a summary at a news conference last week. “This audit found that there are significant improvements on the quality of the 2016 voter list in its completeness, currency, and accuracy compared with the previous voter list,” Comfrel’s report says. Read More