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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

SMS-based monitoring system to supervise activities at poll booth

Jatinder Kohli , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, April 11, 2014
First Published: 12:47 IST(11/4/2014) | Last Updated: 12:54 IST(11/4/2014)

After upg rading technological features of monitoring system used in the 2012 state assembly elections, the state election commission is all set to use the ‘poll day online monitoring system’ to supervise the election process through SMS-based alert system.

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The system will help the state election commission in getting direct information about activities inside polling booths across Punjab.

The live picture of polling booths will be sent by booth level officers (BLO) to their assistant returning officers ( AROs)- cum- sub divisional magistrates (SDMs), who would submit details to returning officers (ROs)-cum-district electoral officers (DEOs).

The infor mation such as polling staff reaching at polling station; starting of polling; percentage of voting after every two hours; disruption in polling process, if occurs; number of voters in queue, etc will be updated by BLOs.

Even after the end of voting time, BLOs will inform AROs about depositing of electronic voting machines (EVMs) at the centres.

With this objective, the DEO will be organising training session for presiding officers, assistant presiding officers and BLOs next week.

The mobile numbers of each member of the training session would be entered into the database so that the commission could monitor each activity of all polling booths set up in the state.

An official source said the polling staff would be trained about whole monitoring system and would be given a number on which they would send text messages in a ‘particular format’ about various activities taking place at the polling stations.

The new system was used in the 2012 state assembly elections in Punjab, Goa, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh when some technical glitches had been detected in the functioning, which were rectified now, he added.

He said, “This election, online server data centre has been provided by government-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), which has added new features into this system. A control room has been set up to collect mobile phone numbers of polling agents or presiding officers which will coordinate returning officers.”

The SMS-based online monitoring system has reduced the workload of BLOs tremendously as earlier they had to report in writing after the end of the day.

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