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EVMs for urban bodies, paper ballot for panchayat elections: MP Election Commission

Preparing for elections, Madhya Pradesh’s EC declares EVMs for cities and paper ballot for rural areas

Sabrangindia 13 May 2022

Madhya Pradesh
Image Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be used in elections to urban bodies and ballot papers in voting for three-tier panchayats, said Madhya Pradesh Election Commissioner Basant Pratap Singh as per a Times of India report.

During a review of election preparations with collectors via video communication, Singh argued that EVMs would delay panchayat elections by over three months due to insufficient machines. Instead, he pushed for urban body elections to be done in two phases while panchayat elections be done via ballot paper in three phases. Addressing Director General of Police Sudhir Saxena and ACS (Home) Rajesh Rajoura, he called for proper security arrangements for peaceful elections, mentioning the “fragile and vulnerable booths” should be dealt with care.

As per commission rules, there should be consistent tracking of corporators’ accounts for election expenses. Polling stations and returning officers should be verified and reviewing data should be sent to the SEC immediately.

Earlier this year, there was much attention focused on EVMs during the Assembly elections particularly in Uttar Pradesh. On the eve of counting of votes, there was a major shuffle in the state’s Electoral Officers line-up. The Election Commission announced that the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) would be deputed as special officer in Meerut, and the Bihar CEO would be the counting in-charge in Varanasi. Further, there were overnight removals of nodal officers for controversies surrounding EVMs in Varanasi. A returning officer in Sonbhadra and an additional election officer in Bareilly were also removed.

All of this was done a day after the Samajwadi Party (SP) alleged major protocol violations in transporting EVMs. SP President Akhilesh Yadav even accused the Uttar Pradesh government of ‘stealing’ EVMs. Party members qualified this by sharing social media videos around March 8 evening showing a truck reportedly loaded with EVMs being moved from Varanasi.

However, at the time, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma dismissed these as fake news and attempts of “some political parties” to “spread rumours”. He claimed that the EVMs in question were used for ‘hands-on training’ of counting officers on the eve of counting day.

Related:

Crisis of Democracy: Lessons from UP elections
UP: Multiple FIRs lodged against SP workers
EVM security: Whose responsibility is it anyway?
"Self-confession of 200 EVMS replaced," ECI registers a case

EVMs for urban bodies, paper ballot for panchayat elections: MP Election Commission

Preparing for elections, Madhya Pradesh’s EC declares EVMs for cities and paper ballot for rural areas

Madhya Pradesh
Image Courtesy:nationalheraldindia.com

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) will be used in elections to urban bodies and ballot papers in voting for three-tier panchayats, said Madhya Pradesh Election Commissioner Basant Pratap Singh as per a Times of India report.

During a review of election preparations with collectors via video communication, Singh argued that EVMs would delay panchayat elections by over three months due to insufficient machines. Instead, he pushed for urban body elections to be done in two phases while panchayat elections be done via ballot paper in three phases. Addressing Director General of Police Sudhir Saxena and ACS (Home) Rajesh Rajoura, he called for proper security arrangements for peaceful elections, mentioning the “fragile and vulnerable booths” should be dealt with care.

As per commission rules, there should be consistent tracking of corporators’ accounts for election expenses. Polling stations and returning officers should be verified and reviewing data should be sent to the SEC immediately.

Earlier this year, there was much attention focused on EVMs during the Assembly elections particularly in Uttar Pradesh. On the eve of counting of votes, there was a major shuffle in the state’s Electoral Officers line-up. The Election Commission announced that the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) would be deputed as special officer in Meerut, and the Bihar CEO would be the counting in-charge in Varanasi. Further, there were overnight removals of nodal officers for controversies surrounding EVMs in Varanasi. A returning officer in Sonbhadra and an additional election officer in Bareilly were also removed.

All of this was done a day after the Samajwadi Party (SP) alleged major protocol violations in transporting EVMs. SP President Akhilesh Yadav even accused the Uttar Pradesh government of ‘stealing’ EVMs. Party members qualified this by sharing social media videos around March 8 evening showing a truck reportedly loaded with EVMs being moved from Varanasi.

However, at the time, District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma dismissed these as fake news and attempts of “some political parties” to “spread rumours”. He claimed that the EVMs in question were used for ‘hands-on training’ of counting officers on the eve of counting day.

Related:

Crisis of Democracy: Lessons from UP elections
UP: Multiple FIRs lodged against SP workers
EVM security: Whose responsibility is it anyway?
"Self-confession of 200 EVMS replaced," ECI registers a case

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