The upcoming assembly elections in Manipur are set to break new technological grounds as the Election Commission is turning to technology to reach remote areas and ensure transparency and security.
After years of allegations of EVM- VVPAT “mismatch”, the Election Commission of India is introducing the new Symbol Loading Unit (SLU) as a pilot project in the Manipur elections.
Speaking to India Today, Manipur Joint Chief Election Officer, Md Suleiman Daulat Khan, said that the new SLUs, developed by the Electronics Corporation of India (ECIL) will allow political parties to see the symbols that are loaded into the VVPAT machines.
The SLU, which is programmed by the engineer, will upload the party symbols into the VVPAT. The document being uploaded on the VVPAT can be seen on a large screen. Once the SLU data is uploaded, the machine itself will remain with the District Election officer, till the polling is over. Election agents of each party will be allowed to observe the uploading process via big screens, to ensure transparency.
“There have been multiple incidents when political parties have alleged that VVPATs are not properly, or it is alleged that if you press one button on the EVM, the vote shows for some other party. This new tech will bring transparency and allow the political parties to see what symbols have been loaded on the VVPATs so there are fewer complaints,” said Khan. Senior officials from ECI and ECIL are expected to reach Manipur next week to monitor the functioning of the SLU pilot project.
MOBILE APPS TO STREAMLINE POLL PROCESS
Specially created for the Manipur Elections, Mobile apps created by the North Eastern Space Application Center have been introduced to streamline the election process.
A Special App called “Voter Facilitator” has been launched, which will allow voters who are above age 80, or physically disabled, to book a “pick up and drop” and a wheelchair, to access the polling booths on Election Day.
“We have 738 voters who are over…