Multi post EVMs to be used in Bihar panchayat polls for the first time
- The use of EVMs in rural polls in Bihar is going to take place for the first time but many other states, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, have used voting machines for panchayat polls held in the last few years.
The upcoming panchayat polls in Bihar would be held using multi post EVMs after the state government’s consent and intimation of the same to the state election commission (SEC) on Saturday.
The nod gives the state poll panel the clearance to purchase the advanced multi post electronic voting machines from ECIL (Electronics Corporation of India Limited). The government has also approved ₹300 crore for the purchase and management of the multi post EVMs by the SEC, officials said.
Additional chief secretary, panchayati raj, Amrit Lal Meena said, “The SEC will now purchase the EVMs from ECIL. The use of EVMs would make the election process more transparent and the counting process will be much quicker.”
Secretary, SEC, Yogendra Ram also confirmed that the poll panel had received the approval from the panchayati raj department.
The SEC will purchase 15,000 multi post EVMs for use during the panchayat polls. While the use of EVMs in rural polls in Bihar is going to take place for the first time, many other states, namely Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala, have conducted panchayat polls using the voting machines in the last few years.
The multi post EVMs are different from EVMs used in assembly and lok sabha polls as it has a central unit with six ballot unit for the six posts of ward member, gram panchayat, panch, sarpanch, mukhiya, panchayat samiti member and district board members to be contested in the elections.
The SEC is giving final touches to the tentative schedule of panchayat elections for 2.58 lakh posts. The polls are likely to be held from March to May this year. 1.19 lakh polling stations have been identified so far.
“As the voting will be done through EVMs, the counting will be done after the conclusion of each phase in districts by taking out the secure detachable memory module of the EVMs. It will allow the results to be declared in districts, where polling gets complete, within a couple of days of voting. This would also free up EVMs to be dispatched to districts, where the next phase of polling is scheduled,” said, an official in the SEC, who didn’t wish to be named.
Panchayat polls in Bihar could be held in eight to nine phases depending on the availability of security forces and preparedness in districts.
“We will be sending the schedule of election to the state government for approval soon. The election process would start from March onwards after the final publication of the ward-wise voters’ list, being prepared by the SEC,” said another SEC official.
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