As many as eight national and 40 regional political parties held a discussion with the Election Commission on Remote Electronic Voting Machine(RVM). The development came after the commission extended the date of submission of written views by political parties (on various issues with regard to RVM) to February 28, 2023. Though the parties appreciated ECI’s initiative of calling all parties for discussion, they had a plethora of queries on the same.
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Need of The Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM):
- As per the 2011 census, 45.36 crore Indians (37% of the population) were internal migrants, settled in a place different from that of their registered residence.
- While 67.4% of the eligible 91.2 crore Indians voted in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, about one-third or close to 30 crore voters did not cast their vote.
- Inability to vote due to internal migration (domestic migrants) is one of the prominent reasons to be addressed to improve voter turnout and ensure participative elections.
What is Remote Electronic Voting Machine:
- The new RVM prototype will enable a voter, who is listed in constituencies, to exercise voting rights from a single machine.
- The multi-constituency remote EVM, developed by a public sector undertaking, can handle up to 72 constituencies from a single remote polling booth.
- Migrant voters would not need to travel to their home districts to exercise their franchise if the remote electronic voting machine is implemented properly.
- The remote e-voting machine will be a standalone device which doesn’t need connectivity to operate.
- The Representation of the People Act, The Conduct of Election Rules and The Registration of Electors Rules will need to be amended to introduce remote voting.
How does Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM) work:
- The RVMs will have the same security system and voting experience as the EVM, with the modification of an electronic ballot display with candidates and symbols instead of a fixed ballot paper sheet.
- When the voter scans his/her constituency card in the presence of the Presiding Officer at the station, their respective constituency and candidate list will appear on the RVM display.
- As for counting the votes, the electronic system will also count and store the votes for each candidate in a constituency.