EC to use GPS to keep tab on officials

EC to use GPS to keep tab on officials

Get ready for hustings: Technology to help ensure transparency

EC to use GPS to keep tab on officials

The Election Commission (EC) will introduce several new initiatives for the upcoming Assembly polls in four states and one Union Territory, including the use of GPS technology to track movement of “flying squads” and “mobile teams” assigned check use of money power to lure voters.

The upcoming elections in Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala and Puducherry will also see introduction of a new symbol for “None of the Above Option” (Nota), Chief Election Commissioner Naseem Zaidi said on Friday. The symbol has been designed by the National Institute of Design, he added.

The functioning and operations of the flying squads/mobile teams for monitoring expenditures by the candidates would be closely monitored using GPS tracking, said Zaidi.

The EC will also for the first time make it mandatory for the officials involved with the polling process to declare in advance that none of their relatives are contesting the elections. If any official has any of his or her relatives in the fray, he or she will be relieved of the poll related responsibilities, said the CEC.

The commission has instructed that, as far as practicable, separate auxiliary polling station will be set up inside the Blind Schools for ease and facilitation of the inmates and staff. Besides, the poll-panel also directed that a separate polling station might be set up for the inmates and staff working in leprosy sanatoriums, if such sanatoriums were located within the constituency.

The EC will also set up some all-women polling stations in the poll-bound states.
The photographs of all candidates will be affixed on the EVMs against their names in order to eliminate chances of voters getting confused while voting for the chosen one, said Zaidi. The EC is also likely to act tough against politicians delivering “hate speeches” violating the Model Code of Conduct, which came into force in the all the poll bound states on Friday.

Zaidi said that the EC would invoke all relevant laws against those who would make such “hate speeches” during campaigning. Besides, the issue of hate-speeches, avoiding making such hate speeches and actions to be taken against violators will top the agenda of a meeting the poll-panel plans to hold all national and state parties soon.

Mobile app to monitor polls

A new android-based mobile application will be used for monitoring the May 16 Assembly polls in Kerala, said Chief Electoral Officer E K Majhi on Friday, DHNS reports from Thiruvananthapuram.

This will be in addition to the existing SMS-based system, Majhi added, while speaking to reporters after the Election Commission announced the poll schedules for states of Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. “We have identified polling stations as sensitive, hyper-sensitive and critical.

A final, consolidated list will be arrived at after consultations involving the election observers, district collectors and district police chiefs,” said Majhi. Election will be held in 140 constituencies, including 14 SC and two ST constituencies. The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail  system will be used on a “pilot basis” in 12 constituencies in 10 districts. A total of 1,650 polling stations will have the system

Polling stations not covered by the Central paramilitary forces will be monitored through web-casting, CCTVs or micro-observers. Flying squads, static surveillance teams, video surveillance teams and accounting teams will work in all constituencies to monitor election expenditure of candidates, said Majhi. The counting of votes will be held on May 19.

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