EC mulls over shutting commercial, public places on voting day

EC mulls over shutting commercial, public places on voting day

In what could be a first-of-its-kind measure, the Election Commission of India is considering closing down commercial and public places on the day of polling (May 12) to encourage people to vote in the Assembly elections.

The Commission has received representations from people saying that they were unable to vote since they had to attend office.

The idea behind closing public and commercial places on the voting day is to ensure that staff in malls, shops and theatres should get an opportunity to exercise their franchise.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar said that the proposal was being discussed with political parties and nothing had been finalised yet.

In addition, it has also been planned to increase the number of all-women voter booths to 540 from the earlier 400 in the state.

Screening social media

Meanwhile, on April 17 the EC will hold a meeting with the representatives of social media sites, mobile service providers and firms providing bulk SMS service.

While EC has been able to monitor advertisements in newspapers and TV channels, it is finding it difficult to track messages and campaigns on social media platforms. The meeting will discuss the
measures for screening the content disseminated on social media.

Speaking to media at an interactive workshop on Friday, K J Jagadeesha, Additional Chief Electoral Officer, admitted that the content on social media was yet to be screened for poll code violation. So far there are restrictions only on advertisements.

The Election Commission is also planning to consult the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology on practical ways to deal with the issue.

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