Today is the last day to register for a voter ID Card before the 2019 General Elections and the National Voters Service Portal website, where users can apply for a new card or even for a change in voting address, appears to be down.
While the website is opening; on choosing the option to register new voters, users are getting an error page and other options which were also experiencing the same issue seem to be working now.
What this outage has also brought to light the fact that the option to change details online or apply for voter ID through the website has not been functioning for sometime now. Users on twitter have been complaining about their service requests which have apparently been pending for well over a year and thus it isn’t clear how people rushing in to apply at the last moment will get their requests resolved.
The issue was earlier reported in the State of Kerala where users were not able to access the website on Tuesday. Commenting on the development, the chief electoral officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena had said “ The issue is there in all states. There is huge traffic and that is why the snag. We have reported the issue to the election commission. The rectification work is underway.”
At present it is unclear if the last date to register will be extended by the election commission due to this.
Efficient Election Commission But Deficient Digital?
Every five years, India undertakes the largest democratic event in the world — the General Elections. And the Election Commission of India has made a reputation for itself for its untiring efforts to conduct free and fair elections.
But with digital convenience being expected across a wide range of services, why is it not being afforded to a crucial right such as the right to vote? this s a question that many are asking now.
Another area that will be testing the ECI will be social media. Chief election commissioner Sunil Arora has reportedly said that all major social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp and Share Chat — are committed to accepting only pre-certified political advertisements, sharing expenditure on it with the EC and adhering to the “silence period” that comes into effect 48 hours before the polls.
To ensure this the EC has also summoned and met representatives of Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Google, Sharechat and TikTok to discuss a six-point agenda for the meeting that includes “evolving mechanism by the social media platforms to prevent abuse on their platforms”.