(THE GIST OF PIB) Remote Electronic Voting Machines
Remote Electronic Voting Machines
- The Election Commission of India (ECI) said on December 28 that it was ready to pilot remote voting for domestic migrants through newly devised remote electronic voting machines (RVMs) so that the voter does not have to travel to their home State or district to cast their vote.
How significant is the migrant vote?
- EC has admitted that the absence of a central database for migrants poses a problem on the issue of remote voting.
- However, the EC recognises that “migration-based disenfranchisement is indeed not an option in the age of technological advancement.”
- As per the 2011 census, 45.36 crore Indians (37% of the population) were internal migrants, settled in a place different from that of their registered residence.
- Expressing concerns about a stagnating electoral participation, the EC says that while 67.4% of the eligible 91.2 crore Indians voted in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, about one-third or close to 30 crore voters did not cast their vote.
About remote voting:
- The RVMs will have the same security system and voting experience as the EVM, with the modification of an electronic ballot display with candidates and symbols instead of a fixed ballot paper sheet.
- When the voter scans his/her constituency card in the presence of the Presiding Officer at the station, their respective constituency and candidate list will appear on the RVM display.
- As for counting the votes, the electronic system will also count and store the votes for each candidate in a constituency.
What is the EC’s proposal for RVMs?
- In its 2015 order on a plea seeking voting opportunities for domestic migrants, the Supreme Court directed the EC to explore remote voting options.
- A committee of the poll panel had considered remote voting options such as proxy voting, postal ballots, Internet voting, and early voting but did not recommend any of these methods citing various reasons.
- The EC has now come up with a prototype for a Multi-Constituency Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM) for migrant voting, a modified version of the existing EVM model.