Indian expatriates from all walks of life have welcomed the Government of India’s decision to amend the existing electoral law and allow millions of Non-resident Indians (NRIs) to vote from abroad in elections back home. They opined that the decision will involve NRIs in nation-building activities and expressed hope that now political parties will give serious considerations to the problems faced by NRIs. Bindu Suresh Chettur, eminent advocate, legal consultant and President of the Indian Business and Professional Council, Dubai, welcomed the decision and said that it was a constitutional right of the NRIs.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of India.
Despite the Representation of the People Act allowing a Non Resident Indian (NRI) the right to enrol as a voter in India, he/she is not allowed to vote through postal ballots (like defence personnel) or through a more modern e-voting system. This denied them their fundamental rights. On Friday (July 14) the Supreme Court came down heavily on the Centre for this lapse and gave the government a week to decide whether the Act would be amended to allow such people to vote. The bench of Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud studied a report of a panel headed by Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi which said that the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Centre were, in fact, agreeable to the issue, but action has been missing in this regard.
The Election Commission (EC) is expected to get delivery of around 30,000 voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) voting machines by the first week of September, enabling it to hold 100% paper trail-based assembly polls in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh at the end of this year. The commission, which has a stock of 53,500 VVPAT machines, requires around 70,000 units for Gujarat polls and around 15,000 units to conduct Himachal Pradesh elections. The additional 30,000 machines will complete the requirement for two state polls.
India: Election Commission to tally paper trail slips with electronic voting machines in 5% booths in each assembly seat | The Indian Express
In a bid to further reinforce the credibility of electronic voting machines, the Election Commission (EC) has decided to mandatorily tally paper trail slips with the results of EVMs in five per cent of polling stations in each assembly seat, for all state and Lok Sabha elections. The counting of paper trail slips, however, will not take place in more than 14 polling stations and less than five polling stations in each assembly seat. The stations will be selected or identified at random. This change in the vote counting process will, by the EC’s estimate, delay the announcement of poll results by three hours. The Commission has already decided to link all EVMs with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines in the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, scheduled to be held towards the end of this year. VVPAT machines produce a printout of the vote cast using an EVM. The printed ballot slip is deposited in a box and can be used to resolve any dispute regarding the election.
If you haven’t decided whom to vote for in the upcoming election for the next President of India – to be held on July 17 – don’t worry. Unless you’re an MP or an MLA, you don’t get to vote. Unlike most of India’s elected representatives, who must battle it out for citizens’ votes, the President of India is instead chosen by an electoral college. The electoral college comprises the elected members of the Parliament (MPs) and state legislative assemblies (MLAs). Nominated members are, like the rest of us, unable to vote. There are 4,986 electors in the electoral college: 4,120 MLAs and 776 MPs. In normal elections, everyone’s vote is counted equally. In a presidential election, however, electors’ votes are worth more or less depending upon their job titles. In general, MPs’ votes are worth more than MLAs’, and MLAs from bigger states count more than those from smaller ones. The total value adds to10,98,903.
The brouhaha over use of smart electronic voting machines (EVMs) in India’s legislative elections has reached an ear-splitting pitch, leaving the 850 million constituents confused and confounded. All set for the five-year general polls scheduled for 2019, India’s Election Commission has time and again asseverated that the voter-friendly devices are tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated, but opposition parties have been demanding a ban on the high-tech gizmos and want the poll panel to return to the good old paper ballot system. Browned off by the belligerent mood of seven national and 35 recognized state parties bent on blowing the whistle, the exasperated commission has now thrown a gauntlet before them and invited politicos of all hues to examine the EVMs from June 3 onwards and show how the indigenously-manufactured machines can be hacked.
India: Electronic Voting Machine row: Why Election Commission is not going back to ballot paper for polls | India Today
Since 2000 the country has witnessed 107 Assembly elections and three Lok Sabha polls (2004, 2009, and 2014) where EVMs were used to cast and record votes in all the constituencies and at all the poll booths. The parliamentary polls of 2004 were the first general elections to be fully conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs). The incumbent government lost power. Before that the Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and West Bengal in 2001 were completely conducted using EVMs. During the first two Lok Sabha elections in 1952 and 1957, and simultaneous Assembly polls, each candidate was allotted a separate ballot box. The poll symbol of the candidate or his party was pasted on the respective ballot boxes.
India: Future elections will be held with paper trail, Election Commission tells political parties | Telugu 360
The Election Commission on Friday ruled out any possibility of the EVMs being tampered with in elections even as it announced that all future elections will be held with VVPAT slips to prevent any doubts while the AAP demanded ‘hackathon’, a view others were not apparently enthusiastic about at an all-party meeting convened to discuss worries over the machines. At the end of the day-long meeting, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi that the poll panel will hold a “challenge” for political parties to prove their allegations that the machines were or could be tampered with. “All future elections will be mandatorily held with VVPAT (Voter-verifiable paper audit trail),” he said. “The Commission will hold a challenge and offer an opportunity to political parties to demonstrate that the EVMs used in the recently-concluded assembly elections were tampered or the EVMs can be tampered with even under the laid down technical and administrative safeguards,” he added.
India: Electronic voting machine tampering, electoral reforms: Election Commission to meet with political parties today | The Indian Express
The Election Commission of India will today hold an all party meeting to discuss the issue of alleged EVM tampering as well as electoral reforms that it has proposed. The EC has invited seven national and 48 state parties to the meeting during which the commission is also likely to throw an “open challenge” to prove allegations of EVM tampering.
Three days before the all-party meeting called by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to discuss the concerns over electronic voting machines’ (EVMs) reliability, the AAP on Tuesday conducted a mock poll inside the Delhi Assembly to back its allegations that EVMs can be “hacked” and claimed “such rigging” has led to BJP’s successive wins in the recent elections across the country. To lend credence to the whole exercise in the House, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had invited representatives of the CPI (M), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD, Trinamool Congress (TMC), Janata Dal (U) and Samajwadi Party to see EVMs hacking. CPI-M leader Nilotpal Basu, RJD’s Manoj Jha and leader from the TMC were seen seated in the gallery to see the live demo.
In course, the AAP dared the BJP-led Centre and the ECI that given a chance it can get the EVMs “tampered” through its engineers within 30 hours and in poll-bound Gujarat it requires “just three hours” for the same, before the House adopted a resolution demanding that every election in the country henceforth be held using voter-verified paper audit trail or VVPAT slips as directed by the Supreme Court.