The Election Commission of India has tightened its sleeves to push the “Digital India” agenda by introducing a slew of measures in the upcoming state elections of Karnataka this year.
Reportedly, the commission is going to make use of Voter Verified Paper Audit Trial aka VVPAT machines, a digital security net, and a ‘Digital Atlas’, which is basically a geographic information system (GIS) for real-time planning, monitoring, and implementation of the poll process.
VVPAT, though costly, is a useful complementary system to Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). It not only verifies every vote registered on the EVM by the voter but the paper trial receipts stored by the commission can reverify and audit a questionable election from any of the constituencies by physically counting the votes.
Besides that, the poll-bound state, which is also said to be the IT hub of the country, is going to witness the application of RoNET system on the pilot basis. The RoNET app was recently launched by the Election Commission for efficient management of the poll process and was also used in other state elections including Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
The application system software basically connects top officers like Chief Electoral Officer, District Election Officer, and Returning Officer, providing them with vital information for making real-time efficient decisions in a time-bound manner. Similarly, the Digital Atlas feature which is also a part of RoNET system is expected to provide a bird’s eye view of each of the constituencies through webcasting.
In conversation with Inc42, the Election Commissioner of India, OP Rawat shared his inputs about the initiatives taken by the Election Commission to push the usage of digital tools in the elections. “First and foremost, we are going to extend the Electoral Rolls Services-NeT (ERONeT) to the Karnataka in order to provide a seamless voter experience, but since it is poll-bound this year, it would be available only after the election,” he stated. ERO-Net is a web-based application where people can register for a voter ID and also correct or change their addresses in case they get shifted from one state to other at any time of the year.