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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Country's first 3D dummy ballot units to educate voters in Assam district

The dummy unit resembles the actual ballot units used by the Election Commission in voting. It has candidate names and the symbols mentioned. It is made of recyclable material and hence post elections, the unit plastics can be reused for making something else in 3D printing.
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 04:52 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 04:52 IST

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Guwahati: In what is said to be a first in the country, Kamrup district in Assam and IIT Guwahati on Monday unveiled 3D dummy ballot units made of recyclable materials to educate voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The dummy ballot units were unveiled by Kamrup district commissioner Keerthi Jalli and Parameswar Puri, a professor of IIT Guwahati.

The dummy unit resembles the actual ballot units used by the Election Commission in voting. It has candidate names and the symbols mentioned. It is made of recyclable material and hence post elections, the unit plastics can be reused for making something else in 3D printing.

It is the size of a mobile phone for ease of handling and usage. The broader impact of the initiative being promoting and popularizing 3D printing technology across the country to make India a major manufacturing hub, said a statement issued by Kamrup district administration.

Kamrup district falls under Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency, where polling is scheduled on the third and final phase of polling in Assam, on May 7.

"In the remote areas, where voters may be hesitant to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for various reasons of unfounded fears, these familiarisation activities with these units will serve as effective educational tools to boost voter confidence and participation," Jalli said.

The statement said although the dummy ballot was the brainchild of Jalli, the IIT Guwahati team led by Ajeet Kumar, assistant professor at the department of design and team had brought it to reality in about 48 hours through district administration's collaboration.

These were printed using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology with poly lactic acid (PLA) material, a bio-friendly and sustainable material made by corn syrup, Kumar said adding that the concept was developed within 24 hours, and each unit took three to four hours to print with his students, Jayesh Vishwakarma, Daksh Sharma and Sarit Raj. These units include candidate names and party symbols, emitting a beep sound when pressed along with a light bulb, mimicking the original voting process, he added.

The introduction of 3D dummy ballot units represents a progressive stride in electoral literacy and technological innovation, setting a precedent for future electoral initiatives aimed at enhancing civic engagement and democratic participation.

The novel technology would create a buzz amidst first time voters to go and try their votes, Parameswar K. Iyer, the Dean of Public Relations, Branding, and Ranking at IIT-Guwahati, said.

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Published 23 April 2024, 04:52 IST

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