Poll panel to overhaul voting system in 5 yrs

  • Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 06, 2011 01:37 IST

In order to tighten the country’s voting system, the Election Commission is planning to introduce one-person-one number system so that each person’s voter identity card number and unique identification number become one.

The move is aimed at automatic deletion of duplicate names in electoral rolls and easy registration of new and migrating voters.

Work on merging the numbers has already started in Goa and the commission claims that the entire country will be covered in three to five years. There are about 730 million voters in India, and about 65% of them have voter identity cards.

Chief election commissioner SY Quraishi told HT there was another proposal for straightening the voting system: an instant paper receipt from an EVM (electronic voting machine), assuring the voter that his vote has been delivered to the candidate of his choice.

The commission has appointed a team of five IIT experts to have small printers attached to EVMs to produce a receipt of the vote cast without disclosing the identity of the voter.

The voter will only be able to see the receipt, which will be dumped into a sealed box. All the receipts will be destroyed once the voting gets over.

But Quraishi said the demand by some political parties, including the BJP, to make the paper trail verifiable later was “dangerous” and unsafe for the voter.

After his party’s debacle in the 2009 general elections, BJP leader LK Advani had questioned the efficacy of the 1.4 million EVMs used in poll. Also, Hyderabad-based NetIndia’s founder Hari Prasad had demonstrated on television how an EVM could be manipulated.

The EC rejected the claim, saying the situation in a polling station was totally different from that in a television studio.

Avoiding duplication

One-person-one-number is aimed at automatic deletion of duplicate names in electoral rolls and easy registration of new and migrating voters

EC also plans to attach small printers to EVMs so as to give voters a receipt for their ballots

There are 730 million voters in India with 65% of them holding voter identity cards


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