Election Commission ready to pilot remote voting

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India on Thursday said that it is ready to pilot remote voting for domestic migrants, and the migrant voters need not travel to their home states to vote.

The ECI has developed a prototype Multi-Constituency Remote Electronic Voting Machine and has invited political parties for demonstration of the prototype RVM.

The prototype RVM can handle multiple constituencies from a single remote polling booth

“The migration based disenfranchisement is indeed not an option in the age of technological advancement. The voter turnout in General Elections 2019 was 67.4 per cent and the Election Commission of India is concerned about the issue of over 30 crore electors not exercising their franchise and also differential voter turnout in various states/UTs,” the commission said.

The ECI said that there are multifarious reasons for a voter not opting to register in a new place of residence, thus missing out on exercising the right to vote.

“Inability to vote due to internal migration (domestic migrants) is one of the prominent reasons to be addressed to improve voter turnout and ensure participative elections. Although there is no central database available for migration within the country, the analysis of available data in public domain points to work, marriage and education related migration as important components of domestic migration,” it said.

Approximately 85 per cent of the internal migration is within the states.

The ECI team has deliberated at length to find inclusive solutions to facilitate electoral participation of migrants across all socio-economic strata and explored alternative voting methods like two-way physical transit postal ballots, proxy voting, early voting at special Early Voting Centres, one-way or two-way electronic transmission of postal ballots (ETPBS), Internet-based voting system.

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