Pink Booths to third generation EVMs, several firsts in Karnataka

Pink Booths to third generation EVMs, several firsts in Karnataka

Voters stand in a queue to cast their votes for Karnataka Assembly election 2018 at a polling station in Mangaluru on Saturday. PTI Photo

From all-women managed Pink Booths to the use of third generation Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), the Assembly elections in Karnataka are marked by several firsts.

The country's IT hub saw electoral authorities initiate a slew of initiatives targeting a 75% voting percentage.

As the outcry about the alleged vulnerability of the EVMs to tampering grew louder, the Election Commission (EC) has come up with the "M3 EVMs" that is tamper proof and stops when attempts are made to meddle with it.

On a pilot basis, the EC chose five Assembly constituencies in Bengaluru, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Shivajinagar, Shanthinagar, Gandhi Nagar and Rajaji Nagar in Bengaluru.

However, election to the Rajarajeshwari Nagar constituency has been deferred owing to large-scale malpractices.

The machine, according to sources in the office of the chief electoral officer, has features like display of battery status and digital certification. The machine can report about the malfunction on its own, they said.

In a women-oriented step, 450 "pink booths" called 'Sakhi' have been set up.

Sending a message of women empowerment, they are entirely managed by women, right from the returning officer to the security personnel, the sources said.

Adding a riot of colours, the EC has set up ethnic polling booths in Mysuru, Chamarajnagar and Uttar Kannada districts where polling booths match the lifestyle of tribal masses living there.

Like in every election, each booth is equipped with facilities such as wheelchairs for the differently-abled to exercise their franchise easily.