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Pak EC interested in Indian EVMs

The Election Commission of Pakistan has evinced interest in Indian electronic voting machines and has requested for a demonstration of the EVMs, the Election Commission said on Saturday.

delhi Updated: Jan 22, 2011 22:24 IST

The Election Commission of Pakistan has evinced interest in Indian electronic voting machines and has requested for a demonstration of the EVMs, the Election Commission said on Saturday.

"They have requested for a bilateral meeting and a demonstration of the Indian EVMs and for a visit to an EVM factory, which the Election Commission here has accepted," DG of Election Commission of India Akshay Rout told reporters.

A delegation from the Election Commission of Pakistan would be here to attend the valedictory function of the diamond jubilee celebrations of ECI here on January 25, which is also being observed as the National Voters' Day.

President Pratibha Patil will be gracing the function which will also be attended by over 30 heads of national electoral management bodies including Election Commissions from all the SAARC countries, Rout said.

"Millions of newly eligible and registered voters in the updated electoral roll as of January 1, 2011 will be given away Elector Photo Identity Cards on that day in about eight lakh polling booths across the country," he said, describing the exercise as "unprecedented" by any standard.

Rout said new voters in the age group of 18 and 19 would primarily be given the cards on that day. They will also be given badges with slogan 'proud to be a voter-ready to vote' and administered a pledge, he said.

The President will be giving away cards to five such voters at the function.

Rout said the exact number of such new voters would be made available in the next few days.

The Government is celebrating the voters' day with an aim to encourage more young voters to take part in the political process. A meeting of the Union Cabinet had on Thursday approved celebration of the day.

Observing that new voters, who have attained the age of 18 years, were showing less interest in getting enrolled, I&B Minister Ambika Soni had said that the level of their enrolment was as low as 20 to 25 per cent in certain cases.

The Election Commission would also be hosting an international conference on 'best electoral practices' on the eve of the voters' day celebration with an aim to facilitate exchange of experience and expertise among major practitioners of electoral democracy, Rout said.