EC website to give info on queues at polling booths

  • Jatinder Kohli, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2014 00:01 IST

The Punjab chief election officer’s website will inform those voters who want to know as how many people are in the queue at their nearest polling booth on Wednesday when the state goes to the polls.

The state chief election officer has started this queue monitoring system at polling booths in seven parliamentary constituencies — Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Patiala, Bathinda and Anandpur Sahib.

The queue monitoring system, an initiative of the Election Commission of India, has received a thumbs up during the earlier phases of polls in various parts of country.

For this, the administration has trained booth-level officers (BLOs) to update the queue length on the National Informatics Centre server after every 15 minutes.

The BLOs for each polling station will send SMS to the system, mentioning the number of people in queue and same information will be updated at the website. In the Jalandhar parliamentary constituency, details of queue at booths in all four urban legislative constituencies —Jalandhar West, Jalandhar Central, Jalandhar North and Jalandhar Cantonment — will be updated on the website.

In Amritsar, information of queues outside the polling booths will be given for assembly constituencies of Amritsar North, Amritsar West (SC), Amritsar Central, Amritsar East and Amritsar South.

The voters in Ludhiana parliamentary seat can avail the facility in the assembly segments of Ludhiana East, Ludhiana West, Ludhiana South, Ludhiana Central, Ludhiana North, Atam Nagar, and Gill (SC).

In Ferozepur Lok Sabha segment, Ferozepur Urban; Bathinda Urban in Bathina seat; Patiala in Patiala segment and Mohali in the Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha constituency will also have the facility. An official said the facility would be provided to voters so that they could save their time, besides avoiding the hassle of standing in queues.

Another major reason, he added, behind this experiment was to target urban voters as the voter turnout in urban belts had not been encouraging in the past. The SMS-based online queue system is part of the initiative to increase voting percentage in the state, the official said, adding that it would reduce the workload of BLOs and polling staff at the booths.

He said the BLOs would also send SMSes to the poll-day online monitoring system to their respective district election officers (DEOs) for supervising the election process through SMS-based alert system.

The system will help the election commission to get direct information about activities inside the polling booths across the state.

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