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EVMs to display images along with names, symbols

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Agartala: To ensure greater transparency and avoid confusion in the minds of voters, the Election Commission has decided that electronic voting machines (EVMs) would henceforth display images of the contestants along with their names and party symbols.elections-polls-evm-voting

The new system would be operational for the first time during the June 27 by elections to six assembly constituencies in five states – Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tamil Nadu and Tripura.

“Following a Supreme Court direction, the Election Commission has decided to display photos of the candidates besides their names and party symbols on the EVMs,” Election Commission Secretary K.N. Bhar told IANS. The images would be displayed between the party symbol and the candidate’s name.

“The new mode would be applicable from now onwards in all future elections to parliament and the state assemblies,” he added.

The official said that the new system would help voters easily identify the candidates of their choice, avoid confusion on candidates with namesakes and long lists of contestants.

“The new method would be applied for the first time in India during the by-elections to six assembly seats in five states,” Bhar added.

The by-polls would be held on June 27 in two assembly constituencies in Tripura and one constituency each in the other four states.

The poll panel has issued a notification to all Chief Electoral Officers and stake holders concerned, making the new system compulsory.

According to the EC notification, available with IANS, no uniforms would be allowed and caps and dark glasses have to be avoided in the candidates’ photographs.

The notification also said that the candidates are required to submit a photograph taken during the preceding period of three months before the date an election is notified.

The photograph should be of stamp size with a white or off-white background, with full face view directly facing the camera, a neutral facial expression and with eyes open. The photo may be in colour or black and white as may be convenient for the candidate.

“Following the directives of the Election Commission, we are arranging the new systems for the forthcoming by-elections in the state,” Tripura’s additional Chief Electoral Officer Debashish Modak told IANS.

“The commission considers that photographs of candidates (on the EVMs) will facilitate the electors in casting their votes and also the candidates in their campaign,” Bhar said, adding that the candidates’ photographs would also be printed on the postal ballots issued to the security personnel and officials engaged in the election process.

The Supreme Court judgement had come on a public suit filed by Delhi resident Ashok Gahlot.

“It would be a major boost for the Indian electorate that predominantly is illiterate and semi-literate often get confused with candidates having identical names in the fray. Political parties often field dummy candidates with a similar name to confuse the voters,” said Hiranmoy Chakraborty, who has considerable experience in the field. He was Tripura’s joint chief electoral officer and has worked closely with several chief election commissioners, including the high-profile T.N. Seshan.

“Sometimes candidates have been defeated because their votes had, supposedly due to confusion, gone to the dummy namesakes,” Chakraborty added.

“Although suitable suffixes are added to the names of candidates in the event or two or more candidates having same name, this new move would remove confusion in the minds of electors at the time of voting,” Chakraborty noted. (IANS)

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Here’s All You Need to Know About EVMs

Elections can be conducted via EVMs provided the number of candidates does not exceed 64. An EVM can record a maximum number of 3,840 vote

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With leass than a week to go for the Lok Sabha elections, IANS has compiled some interesting facts about Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

* An EVM consists of a control unit and a balloting unit connected together by a cable. The control unit belongs to a polling officer while the balloting unit is kept in a compartment to cast votes.

* After the polling is over, the results can be known instantly at the counting station by pressing the “result” switch which is located in a sealed compartment of the control unit.

* EVMs are manufactured by two Central government undertakings — Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited.

* EVMs were first used at 50 polling stations in a by-poll at the Parur Assembly constituency in Kerala in May 1982.

Agartala EVM machines for Tripura civic polls.

* EVMs could not be used after 1983 after a Supreme Court ruling that necessitated legal backing for the use of voting machines. The law was amended by the Parliament in December 1988, empowering the Election Commission to use voting machines.

* In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, 10.75 lakh EVMs were used across all polling stations in the country. Since then all elections are conducted by EVMs.

Also Read- Have a Look at Some Interesting Facts About Lok Sabha Elections

* EVMs can even be used in areas with no electricity, as they can be operated on alkaline batteries.

* Elections can be conducted via EVMs provided the number of candidates does not exceed 64. An EVM can record a maximum number of 3,840 votes. (IANS)