EC may stop disclosing booth-wise votes in EVMs

EC may stop disclosing booth-wise votes in EVMs

The Election Commission on Monday told the Supreme Court that it was considering a proposal to do away with disclosing data on booth-wise counting of votes in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) in order to protect voters’ choice.

Additional Solicitor General N K Kaul, appearing for the poll panel, submitted before a bench presided over by Justice T S Thakur that it would require three months time to pass notification in this regard. He submitted that the commission was also considering the recommendations made by the Law Commission of India in this regard.

A PIL filed in the apex court urging a direction to the poll panel to declare the Parliamentary elections results of each constituency “as a whole” without disclosing booth-wise voting pattern. The petition filed by Jalandhar-based advocate Yogesh Gupta contended that revealing election results ward-wise or on each voting machine basis affected privacy of the right to vote of a citizen and could lead to vindictive reactions from the political class.

The petitioner said the voters’ choice should be kept secret and every Parliamentary constituency’s result should be declared as a whole.With the use of EVMs, it has become easier to identify the voting pattern. Earlier, when ballot papers were in use, those were mixed before counting, obviating the possibility of revealing voters choice from a particular booth.

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