Delhi poll body’s warning ahead of polls: False complaints on EVM, VVPAT to invite police action

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New Delhi | Published: March 12, 2019 2:45:01 PM

The Election Commission on Sunday announced the poll schedule for the upcoming elections. According to the electoral roll which was published on January 18, there are 1,36,95,291 voters in Delhi. There are about 97,684 first-time voters in Delhi this time around.

EVM, EVM controversy, electronic voting machine, electronic voting machine controversy, election commission
Individuals who will register false complaints on Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be charged, Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh told news agency ANI. “VVPAT machines are being used for the first time. This will clear all doubts from the minds of voters and political parties about EVMs. If the complaint of EVMs and VVPATs is found to be wrong, an FIR will be lodged against the complainant,” Delhi CEO Ranbir Singh said.

The state poll body’s warning comes on the back of several complaints and allegations by a number of parties in the Opposition questioning the efficacy and fairness of polls conducted through EVMs. In the past, many parties like the Aam Aadmi Party, the TMC, Congress among others have cast aspersions on the robustness of EVMs and alleged that these machines can be hacked. The AAP has claimed that the BJP won several elections by hacking EVMs.

The Election Commission on Sunday announced the poll schedule for the upcoming elections. According to the electoral roll which was published on January 18, there are 1,36,95,291 voters in Delhi. There are about 97,684 first-time voters in Delhi this time around.

Singh added that ballot units also saw an increase from 24,200 in 2014 Lok Sabha elections to 34,953 this year. VVPAT stands at 20,435 on 13,816 polling booths in seven constituencies of the national capital.

The Election commission has also worked on making the polls accessible for everyone including the specially-abled persons.

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In 2019, Singh says that the theme is ‘accessible elections’ and the commission has taken various measures to follow through.

Singh went on, “For example, we will provide transport facilities from doorsteps as well as at the polling booth for specially-abled persons. They can apply through an app and post verification, the service such as wheelchair or transport will be provided.”

In a bid to encourage voters’ turnout, the EC has persuaded two Delhi-based sportspersons for awareness campaigns – Cricketer Rishabh Pant and Table Tennis Player Manika Satre.

Moreover, it will be for the first time that Delhi will an all-women polling booth where everything will be done by women to give a boost to women empowerment.

However, he warned that all kinds of media including news and social media advertisements are required to be certified by Media Monitoring Committee and Media Certification (MCMC). He added that for this, a journalist and a social media expert will be made part of the MCMC committee team so that fake news and ads’ can be kept in check.

Singh also emphasized that the technology will also play a key role, adding, ‘Cvigil app has also been developed to check issues such as fake news, hate speech and the distribution of money and liquor. This app can be downloaded on smartphones. The citizens can upload photo or video of any misconduct within 5 minutes. It will immediately reach to the flying squads and action will be taken within 100 minutes of uploading.

The national capital will go for elections on May 12 for seven Lok Sabha seats. The final counting of votes will be done on May 23 2019.

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