Sunday, February 5, 2023

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ECI to pilot remote voting facilities for domestic migrants

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has proposed to bring Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM) for facilitating those who migrate from one place to another and miss out on exercising the right to vote.

In a press release, the ECI said, “Out-migration is predominant among the rural population in overall domestic migration. Approximately 85% of the internal migration is within the States.”

After much deliberation on potential solution, the commission “has now explored the option of using a modified version of the time-tested model of M3 EVMs to enable voting at remote polling stations i.e., polling stations outside home constituency, for domestic migrants.”

Through this, the migrant voter would need not travel back to their home district to exercise franchise of voting.

A concept note has been circulated amongst political parties highlighting the challenges of defining domestic migrants, implementation of Model Code of Conduct, ensuring secrecy of voting, facility of polling agents for identification of voters, process and method of remote voting and counting of votes amongst other issues.

This modified form of EVM can handle up to 72 multiple constituencies from a single remote polling booth.

The initiative, if implemented, can lead to a social transformation for the migrants and connect with their roots as many times they are reluctant to get themselves enrolled at their place of work.

Invites political parties for demonstration of prototype RVM

The Commission has invited all Recognised 08 National and 57 State Political Parties on January 16, 2023, to demonstrate the functioning of the multi-constituency prototype Remote EVM.

The Technical Expert Committee members will also be present. The Commission has also solicited written views of recognised political parties by January 31, 2022, on various related issues including changes required in legislation, changes in administrative procedures and voting method/RVM/technology, if any other, for the domestic migrants.

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