Following guidelines laid down by the Election Commission, the sector magistrates on Thursday visited all designated polling booths to inspect the facilities and infrastructure and gave voters a demonstration on how EVMs (electronic voting machines) work.
At Sector 20 polling centre, sector magistrate RK Goyal schooled voters in operating EVMs. He joined the ballot unit and the control unit in putting the voters through the paces with regard to the functioning of EVMs and showing them how to vote for the candidate of their choice.
He said the EVM training is essentially aimed at raising awareness among voters, especially in the grassroots, and making them comfortable with the idea of voting through this device. The names of the candidates and the symbols of the parties they represent will be put up at the ballot unit. It would make it easier for voters to identify the candidates and the number key they have to punch to vote for them.
Goyal said a decision on whether one ballot unit would suffice would be taken once the process of nomination is over and the number of candidates known.
Replying to a voter’s query on whether the name of his favoured candidate would flash on the control unit to which the presiding officer has full access, Goyal assured it wouldn’t and that neither the presiding officer nor any other official on poll duty would know who he voted for.
He then took stock of the infrastructure and facilities at the centre. He toured the area where polling booths would be set up and also oversaw the measures to ensure voter security and easy accessibility. He also enquired if ramps would be put in place for the benefit of disabled voters. He also checked if steps have been taken to ensure uninterrupted power supply to booths.
“I have been assigned to take stock of preparations in sectors 19, 20 and 21. I will submit a report. I’m satisfied by the arrangements. All booths in my area have requisite facilities for voters,” Goyal said.
Other sector magistrates undertook similar stocktaking exercise at polling centres on their watch.