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TURNING WISER AFTER LAST ROUND OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS Use GPS to Track Movement of EVMs & VVPATs: EC to States Ahead of LS Polls

COURTESY ET FEB 12

TURNING WISER AFTER LAST ROUND OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS
Use GPS to Track Movement of EVMs & VVPATs: EC to States Ahead of LS Polls
States told to set up control room in every district for ‘round the clock’ monitoring
Anubhuti.Vishnoi@timesgroup.com

New Delhi:

Learning its lessons after the last round of state elections when political controversies erupted over instances of EVMs and VVPATs being found in hotels, homes and on a highway, the Election Commission has instructed states to track the movement of every machine through GPS and to set up ‘EVM control room’ in every district for ‘round the clock’ monitoring of the machines.


The instructions will come into effect during the Lok Sabha elections and all states have been asked to submit a consolidated compliance report by February 15, ET has learnt. The EC has further added that any lapse in compliance of these directions will be viewed ‘seriously’.

The EC wrote to state chief electoral officers and EVM-VVPAT manufacturers, ECIL and BEL, on February 5 asking them to ‘streamline’ handling and transport of EVMs and VVPATs, especially those kept in ‘reserve’ to be used in case a machine malfunctions.

The EC in its communication said there were instances in the recent assembly elections where it was found that the handling of reserve EVMs/ VVPATs, which are carried by sector officers for need-based replacement on the polling day, merited better “streamlining.” “There shall be a real time tracking and monitoring of the movement of EVMs and VVPATs through the GPS-enabled/ Mobile App-based GPS tracking used in vehicles,” the EC has said in its communication.

Additional personnel will be deployed to ensure ‘round the clock’ monitoring at EVM control rooms. The EC has also instructed that all sector officers submit a detailed account of the reserve EVMs and VVPATs when they are deposited after the voting hours end. They will have to submit this report along with a certification showing that all the machines are safely stored in the strong rooms. It has also been directed that sector officers will not remove EVMs and VVPATs from the authorised vehicles except where required for poll purposes or for safe storage at designated places.

Taking cognisance of complaints raised by the Congress during MP polls, the EC has instructed that the district electoral officer shall notify the registration number and other details of the vehicles carrying the reserve machines and the sector officer in charge to all political parties and observers in the district.

 

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