EC briefs observers from various wings

New Delhi, March 11: With the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections 2024 around the corner, the Election Commission (EC) held a meeting on Monday with its observers, including officials from the police, general administration, and expenditure departments.

The meeting was attended by over 2,000 officials, including those from the IAS, the IPS, and the IRS.

“In the run-up to General Elections 2024, ECI today organized a briefing for Observers to be deployed in the States/UTs. CEC Rajiv Kumar & senior EC officials briefed over 2,150 senior officers drawn from IAS, IPS, IRS & IAAS officers,” the poll panel spokesperson said in a tweet.

The EC is expected to fly to Srinagar to review preparations for the elections in Jammu and Kashmir. The visit to the UT on March 12 and 13 is likely to be its last visit to a state or UT before the polls are announced.

During the briefing Meeting, all the Observers were briefed about the crucial insights to sensitize them regarding the Commission’s various new initiatives and directions. The following was emphasized during the briefing session:

Observers were directed to be confined physically within the boundaries of the Parliamentary Constituency they are allotted, during the entire electoral process. GPS tracking has been proposed to be fitted in their vehicle.

Observers were directed to widely publicize their mobile/landline numbers/email addresses/places of stay, etc., on CEO/District websites; through electronic/print media, and the same must be circulated among Candidates/recognized political parties by DEOs/ROs on the day of arrival of Observers in their respective Constituencies.

Observers were told to remain available on their phones/emails always and attend/respond to the calls of Candidates/Political parties/General public/personnel on election duties, etc. Any complaints in this regard shall be viewed seriously by the Commission.

DEOs should deploy persons of integrity as Liaison Officers and security officers with Observers. These Liaison Officers/Security Officers should be briefed and sensitized properly regarding maintaining neutrality and attending to their duties honestly and with integrity.

Observers were directed to do their mandatory duties honestly, such as remaining fully witnessing and satisfied in processes of deployment of forces, process of randomization, use of Suvidha portal by political parties, and ensuring level playing fields for all candidates/political parties. They need to come out of their comfort zones during the entire election process.

Observers were informed that they should visit as many polling station locations and vulnerable areas; interact with people living in these areas and identify vulnerabilities/criticalities of such areas and ensure measures to be taken to address them.

Observers were also directed to observe the meetings of Candidates/political parties being convened by DEOs/ROs and see that their grievances are properly listened to and acted upon.

During polling hours on the day of poll, Observers were guided to visit as many polling stations as possible and take assessment of the situation inside polling stations regularly and ensure polling is going on in a free and fair manner.

Observers were told to see that central forces/State police forces are being utilized judiciously and maintaining neutrality, and their deployment is also not favoring any political parties/candidates.

During the day-long briefing sessions, the officers were given comprehensive and thorough inputs about the various aspects of election management by the Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, DECs, and DGs of ECI.

Detailed thematic presentations were made on Election planning, Observer’s roles and responsibilities, electoral roll issues, enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, legal provisions, EVM/VVPAT management, media engagement, and the wide array of activities undertaken for voter facilitation under the Commission’s flagship SVEEP (Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation) program.

The Observers were also acquainted with the various IT initiatives and mobile applications launched by the Commission for voter facilitation as well as effective and efficient management of election processes in the field.

The Observers were provided with a functional demonstration of EVMs and VVPATs and briefed about the multifarious technical security features, administrative protocols, and procedural safeguards that surround the EVM ecosystem to make it completely secure, robust, reliable, tamper-proof, and credible.

The Observers were briefed about the recently updated and comprehensive manuals, handbooks, compendium of instructions, Do’s and Don’ts on all thematics concerning election management to facilitate their work. The same is available on the ECI website in ebook and searchable format for easy access to any instructions and guidelines.


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