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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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North-East Assembly Elections: Everything You Need To Know About The Elections In Tripura, Meghalaya, And Nagaland

North-East Assembly elections 2018 will directly affect the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and subsequent government formation

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north-east assembly elections
50.4% registered voters were women (outnumbering men) in the final electoral rolls of the state of Meghalaya. Wikimedia Commons

Many states are gearing up for the North-East Assembly elections 2018 that are being said to be the defining factor for the future political dynamics of India. Elections dates in the on-going states of Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura were February 18 for Tripura, while the other two states will hold their round of elections on February 27. The elections will be held in two phases, and the results will be announced on March 3.

Many parties are looking forward to extending their political reach in the north-eastern region. North-East Assembly elections 2018 will directly affect the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and subsequent government formation.

ALSO READ: 64% Voters cast their vote in the First phase of UP Elections

north-east assembly elections
EVMs will be installed for the first time. Wikimedia Commons

Here is everything you need to know about the north-east assembly elections 2018:

1. The incumbent assembly tenure in Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura will end on March 6, 13 and 14 respectively. Each of these states has a 60-member assembly.

2. In all the three states, Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) and Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) have been implemented.

3. VVPAT machines are being implemented in Meghalaya for the first time since its formation in 1970. Voters had been using the ballot-paper until now.

4. The Election Commission of India had asked Assam Rifles (India’s oldest paramilitary force) to reinforce the Indo-Myanmar border in Nagaland in order to prevent any form of disturbance before the polls. The state has been suffering insurgent movements and cross-border militant infiltration.

north-east assembly elections
Before EVMs, the Ballot-system was used for the voting process. Wikimedia Commons

5. To increase the participation of women, the Election Commission has installed 60 Pink booths that will be managed by women staff. The booths will be placed in every constituency.

6. 86,890 votes in Meghalaya aged between 18 and 19 years will be exercising their vote for the first time. To encourage these first-time voters, the EC felicitated them on National Voters Day on January 25.

7. The Election Commission will monitor the elections live through webcast and CCTV cameras to ensure a fair and free election.

8.  Around 193 polling booths in Meghalaya will be directly webcasted to the Chief Electoral Officer or District Electoral Officer and Election Commission of India.

ALSO READ: Russia’s Last appeal to US Voters: Russia has no intention of interfering in America’s Presidential Elections

Tripura

  • Ramendra Chandra is the current speaker of the Eleventh Legislative Assembly.
  • Since 1993, the CPI(M) has been in power in the state.
  • While BJP has 7 MLAs in the state assembly and is also the main opposition party.
  • Manik Sarkar, the Chief Minister of Tripura, is a Politburo Member of Communist Party of India (Marxist).
  • He became the Chief Minister for the fourth time after 2013 Assembly Elections.
  • Manik Sarkar is known for his honesty and low monetary resources.

Meghalaya

  • The Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was constituted as a directly elected body in 1972 comprising 60 members.
  • 50.4% registered voters were women (outnumbering men) in the final electoral rolls of the state.
  • With a total population of 3.2 million, Meghalaya has a literacy rate of 74.4%.
  • Unlike Tripura, no one in Meghalaya registered for the third gender option in the final rolls.
  • 597 polling stations have been increased from 2,485 in 2013 to 3,082 in 2018. It’s an increase of about 24%.
north-east assembly elections
The Election Commission of India has set 60 Pink Booths. Wikimedia Commons

Nagaland

  • On 1 December 1963, Nagaland became a state of India. Also, the first Nagaland Legislative Assembly was formed on 11 February 1964.
  • The strength of the state assembly was increased to 60 members in 1974.
  • Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the assembly election in the state will be held on schedule amidst a demand by the state’s civil society groups for deferring the polls to facilitate a solution to the vexed Naga insurgency issue.
  • The expectations for a lasting peace have soared in Nagaland, which had been hit by insurgency for decades after the Centre and the NSCN-IM signed a framework agreement in 2015.