As Delhi prepares itself for the upcoming state assembly elections, the Chief Electoral Officer of the state has also geared up to incorporate new-age technologies in the proceedings.
Instead of carrying a voters’ slip to the polling station, electors can now download QR codes in their smartphones. These QR codes, which can be downloaded using the voters’ helpline app, will enable the election conducting body to verify a voter. Currently, this tech-driven facility will be limited to only 11 assembly constituencies out of the total 70 constituencies in Delhi.
Delhi Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh, on Tuesday (January 7), said that in polling stations of these 11 constituencies, voters can scan the QR code before proceeding towards the polling compartment. “Phones will be kept outside the compartment,” he was quoted as saying by Business Standard.
However, in case of any issue such as network failure, a voter will be left with no option but to get access to a physical copy of the voters’ slip.
As of now, the election conducting body has found over 1.46 Cr eligible voters who are going to cast their votes on February 8, 2020, for the Delhi elections. Notably, out of the total 1.46 Cr voters, 80.55 Lakh males, 66.3 Lakh females, and 815 belonging to the third gender have been included in the final voter list. Moreover, 13,750 polling booths are going to be set up at around 2,689 locations in the state to ensure the wider participation of the voters.
Incorporating Technology In Elections
In October 2019, Maharashtra’s Cyber Cell had partnered with the UK-based fact-checking platform Logically to detect, track and report any activity that might violate the Election Commission’s Model Code Of Conduct (MCC). The company kept a keen eye on social media portals — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp — from the Maharashtra Cyber Office at World Trade Centre in Mumbai before the elections.
Moreover, to eradicate any notion of tampering, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had instructed vehicles transporting Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) to be mandatorily equipped with IoT devices that have a GPS chip for location tracking. One company that is already supporting the ECI to get the task off the ground is Letstrack. The startup’s IoT with an in-built GPS tracker helped the ECI monitor EVMs and VVPATs, during the 2019 General elections, around the country.
In another attempt to incorporate technology in elections, three students from Malla Reddy Engineering College in Telangana introduced a blockchain-enabled platform to allow voters to vote without visiting the election points.