'Technical glitches' affect webcast of polling

Live streaming on ECI's website disrupted

'Technical glitches' affect webcast of polling

Live streaming on ECI’s website disrupted

The webcasting of the polling process at 2,687 booths across the State on Thursday was not as successful as planned as “technical glitches” affected the live streaming on the Election Commission of India’s website.

Moreover, it didn’t serve the desired purpose as many polling booths where untoward incidents occurred were not under webcasting. 

Of the total 54,294 polling booths in the State, 2,687 had been identified for webcasting, including 593 in Bangalore. Curious citizens, who wanted to watch the live streaming on the ECI’s website in the morning, were disappointed. Even officials monitoring the webcast at the Bruhat Bangalore Mahangara Palike’s (BBMP) head office said they had to go to separate search engines because the ECI website was not accessible.

The webcast didn’t resume later in the day. As the live streaming on the Internet and search engines was affected, ECI officials were not able to monitor several polling booths. 

Ramkumar SK, a computer science student at East West Institute of Engineering who recorded the polling process at a booth in Rajajinagar, admitted that he had not been able to watch the live streaming on the Internet.

Ramkumar and his friends had agreed to do the webcasting for Rs 1,000 after the ECI approached their college.

“We were given day-long training on how to record the process, upload it on the ECI’s website, log in and webcast. But I have not seen whether it appeared on the website,” he said. 

Another engineering student, from the BMS College of Engineering, who recorded from a booth in Govindarajanagar, also confessed he had not been able to watch the webcast. “I agreed to do the work for the Rs 2,000 stipend. The criterion was to have a laptop, but I have not seen whether it worked.” 

But the Chief Electoral Officer, Anil Kumar Jha, insisted that the process ran smoothly “except for some technical glitches”. “We are able to see the live streaming. There could be some technical glitches because of which people are unable to see. We will check what went wrong. Cameras were installed mainly in sensitive booths but untoward incidents occurred in non-sensitive booths, so they were not webcast.” 

This meant the ECI was not able to avert the untoward incidents occurring at polling booths in Kolar and Nelamangala (Bangalore Rural district). In Kolar, Union minister K Muniyappa reportedly changed the direction of the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), while a drunk, agitated man damaged an EVM in Nelamangala. 

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