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Election Commission Takes New Initiatives for 2016 Assembly elections

March 26, 2016

The Election Commission of India is the apex body for conducting elections to the Union Parliament, state legislatures as well as the offices of the President and Vice-President. The commission has already announced the polling schedule for elections to the four states – Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – and the union territory of Puducherry.

ECI Takes Steps for  Free and Fair Elections

Steps for Special Categories of Voters

The ECI has taken a number of initiatives to improve the citizens’ voting experience in the forthcoming elections and inch closer to its target of achieving 100% voter turnout.

  • The Commission will identify localities which are dominated by weaker sections and locate polling stations in those areas regardless of the number of voters so that they do not have to go other areas where they might be prevented from casting vote.
  • A separate polling station will be set up entirely for the inmates of leprosy sanatoriums if there is one within a constituency. The officers working in the sanatorium would be appointed as presiding and polling officers of that polling station.
  • In areas where women feel inhibition in mingling with male members because of social customs, a separate polling station for men and women with separate queues would be provided.
  • There will also be provisions for the old, infirm and pregnant women at polling stations. Differently-abled voters will be given priority for entering the polling stations so that they don’t have to wait in the queue for other electors. There would be also be provision for wheelchairs and temporary ramps where permanent ramps are not available.

Digital Surveillance for West Bengal Assembly Polls

The Election Commission is going to deploy ‘digital eyes’ for live surveillance of sensitive polling booths in West Bengal during the assembly polls in April. As many as 14,000 pockets of the state have been found vulnerable. The commission will install video cameras in order to monitor all those who are entering the booth and standing at the gates. Besides, there will be political observers and central armed forces, too.

Various Apps and Online Initiatives

The Election Commission of India has also launched a series of mobile apps and online initiatives which can be used by candidates, political parties and voters to facilitate the electoral process.

Samadhan is a public grievance redressal system that takes complaints online as well as through its toll free number 1950, SMS, mobile app, fax, post and email. All complaints will be processed online.

Suvidha is a single window system for candidates and political parties to get permissions for conducting meetings, rallies, etc. The ECI has issued directions to give permissions within 24 hours of candidates/parties making the request.

Sugam is a vehicle management system that helps in issuing and tracking requisition of vehicles in use for election and campaigning purposes. It acquires vehicle details along with address, mobile numbers and bank details of owner and driver. It also tracks vehicles moving from one district to another for official use. There is an Android app for this.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed are of those of the author and do not represent the views of Elections.in.

Keen follower of Indian politics. Content writer in more ways than one.

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