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EC wants to use new machine to enhance vote secrecy

August 08, 2014 16:43 IST

Seeking to enhance secrecy of votes during counting, Election Commission proposes introduction of a new machine to prevent disclosure of voting pattern.

The election body has submitted a proposal to the government for introduction of 'Totaliser' machine for counting of votes.

"The Election Commission is of the view that by use of 'Totaliser', a further level of secrecy in voting and the mixing of votes at the time of counting will be achieved, which will prevent the disclosure of pattern of voting at a particular polling station," Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

In his written reply, he said the government has "not taken a considered view" on introduction of the machine.

"Secrecy of votes being the essence of India democracy will certainly be ascertained before introduction of any technological advancement in the voting or counting," he said.

He was asked whether government is considering introduction of cluster counting instead of ward-wise declaration of vote count.

Responding to another question on EVMs, he said EC has sent a proposal for procurement of control units and ballot units which is being examined.

EC proposes to buy 9,30,430 control units and 13,95,647 ballot units between financial year 2014-15 and 2018-19.

EVM system consists of a maximum of four balloting units and one control unit. The two are connected by a cable.

Instead of issuing a ballot paper, the Polling Officer in-charge of the Control Unit will press the Ballot Button. This will enable the voter to cast his vote by pressing the blue button on the Balloting Unit against the candidate and symbol of his choice.

He said EVMs have a life span of 15 years and the ageing machines are replaced following due procedure.

Prasad said 1,42,631 EVMs procured in 2000-01 will be phased out in 2015-16 and 1,25,681 procured in 2004-05 will be replaced in 2019-20.

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