EVMs to have candidates' photos

EVMs to have candidates' photos

EVMs to have candidates' photos

In a move that could go a long way in preventing bogus candidates from playing mischief, the Election Commission of India (ECI) will use photographs of candidates on the electronic voting machines (EVM) during the upcoming Assembly elections.

It  will be the  first Legislative Assembly polls in Karnataka where this will be implemented.

Besides helping voters recognise their candidate from among those with similar names, the move will also help raise  voter confidence amid concerns aired by the ruling Congress that the EVMs are prone to tampering.

Each EVM will have the names of candidates, their black-and-white photographs and the symbol of the party they represent. Each photograph will be 2.5 cm in size.  

"Photographs of candidates were used on the EVMs in the recent Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls. Photographs will be used in the upcoming bypolls in Rajasthan. In fact, we had candidates' photographs for the Nanjangud and Gundlupet bypolls last year," Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said.

Candidates' names will be classified under three categories. "Names will be listed alphabetically starting with those from national parties, followed by those from regional parties and then the independents or other parties," he said.

Use of photographs coupled with alphabetical listing of candidate names will further negate claims that EVMs can be tampered with. "For an EVM to be rigged so as to favour a particular candidate, how will anyone know whose name is listed where?" Kumar asked.

The 2018 Assembly election will see the introduction of voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, which will allow voters to verify the votes they have cast. The Election Commission will also tally votes cast on the EVM with the VVPAT printouts in one polling booth selected randomly under each Assembly constituency.