SECs Open For New Technologies

Dec 6, 2018

Mysuru:  State Election Commissions (SECs) are open to newer technologies, said Madhya Pradesh Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Parasuram.

Speaking after inaugurating the 27th two-day National Conference of State Election Commissioners of 19 States at Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel in city yesterday, he said, “I am happy that the 27th Summit is being organised in Mysuru. The ink bottles being used in all the elections are manufactured here. It is a proud thing  for Mysuru.”

The MP CEC was referring to Mysuru-based Mysuru Paints and Varnish Limited (MPVL) that produces indelible ink for all elections and is the only Public Sector Unit that has the right to produce the ink.

Speaking to media persons, Parasuram, who is the Chairman of the Conference, said that he does not have authentic information on the lobbies by private companies to push their brand of indelible inks, but anything can happen.

“As far as Madhya Pradesh is concerned, the Commission has complete confidence on the indelible ink supplied by MPVL. So, there is no question of buying the product from any other company. But, I cannot say anything about the other SECs,” he said.

Various topics on improving elections were discussed at the Summit. It gave emphasis on decentralisation of democracy. The Summit also discussed urban and rural local body elections, EVM & multi-choice EVM usage and conducting the elections at the right time.

Use of Information Technology to introduce concept of online voting in elections was among the key subjects discussed at the Conference. Online voting, which has for long been mooted by pro-ballot activists as a solution to boost voter turnout in urban areas, was tried out in the last elections to six Municipal Corporations in Gujarat in 2015.

Varesh Sinha, Gujarat SEC, said the online process was error-free and it can be replicated in other elections in a viable manner. He said that many countries such as Estonia and Australia have introduced online voting. Also, electoral apathy is high in urban areas, which routinely witness abysmal voter turnouts. The option of online voting will give people a chance to vote from the comfort of their home without going to polling booths, he said.

 

What if NOTA gets most votes?

Chairman of the Conference Parasuram said, in Maharashtra and Haryana, None Of The Above (NOTA) on the ballot papers had already been treated as a virtual candidate in the local bodies election. “It is a step towards empowering the people to reject unworthy candidates. In future, if NOTA gets the highest number of votes, it may pave the way for re-election” he said.

The meeting also saw discussions on online submission of nomination forms from prospective poll candidates. Parasuram said both that State and Maharashtra have experimented with the concept for Panchayat and Municipal elections.

Large States such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have a large number of elected posts, and consequently the number of candidates runs into millions. Hence, using IT to submit nomination forms electronically will make things easier, he said.

Source: Star of Mysore