Electoral rolls to carry voters’ photos

February 16th, 2008 - 11:17 pm ICT by admin  

Ahmedabad, Feb 16 (IANS) Electoral rolls for the next Lok Sabha elections will carry voter’s photographs, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) N. Gopalaswamy said here Saturday. “We are proposing to implement this innovation from the next parliamentary elections,” he said while delivering the keynote address on “Innovation for inclusive growth” at the 13th annual conference organized here by the Symphony-AMA Centre for Innovation.

Gopalaswamy, who later responded to questions from the audience, detailed the number of innovations carried out by the Election Commission (EC) after the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Gujarat and said the move to prepare electoral rolls with voters’ photographs was aimed at making the identity of the voter fool-proof. This will also significantly help in eliminating the phenomenon of “bogus voting”.

The CEC said that to establish a voter’s identity, use of driving licences or PAN cards was also accepted. But one is an eligible voter only if his or her name appeared on the electoral roll, he said. A photograph of voter in the electoral roll will now put voter identity beyond any doubt.

The EC was also studying the possibility of internet voting for Armed Forces. The experiment is being thought of as an improvement over the postal ballot system and avoids any possible delay.

Talking about other innovations being introduced by the EC, Gopalaswamy elaborated on an equipment called “totalizer”. The equipment would make it possible for 14 polling booths to be inter-connected and all votes cast would get mixed into one lot, making it difficult for anyone to know the voting pattern in that area.

Malpractices in elections hit at the root of inclusive democracy. “Any election outcome that does not reflect the free will of the electorate is just a sham,” Gopalswamy said.

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