Unique Stories / Best Practices / Information on any interesting election related fact

Unique Stories / Best Practices / Information on any interesting election related fact

After lots of struggle on 15th Aug 1947 we got freedom from British rule. After that, every citizen of India raised a question about who will be the next leader of India, who will rule according to the citizens. After many Round table conferences, On 26th January 1950, we got our constitution and India became a democratic country, divided into states and union territories.

Article 324 of the Constitution provides that the power of superintendence, direction, and control of elections to parliament, state legislatures, the office of president of India, and the office of vice-president of India shall be vested in the election commission. It is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India at the national and state levels. The elected members from votes of people become Prime Minister of India and leader of states called as Chief Minister.
It’s a great responsibility of the election commission that elected candidates for leaders position will not do any type of scam and the voting method is a vast process every year more than 20 elections are held in India at both national and state level.

Before EVM and VVPAT machine, the Ballot box was introduced for the collection of votes from the people according to the chosen candidates. The ballot box election in the form of voting which takes place directly at the POLLING BOOTH. The Election officers, who are volunteers they verify each and every citizen's right to vote by comparing their personal ID with the data listed on the electoral roll. If a person has the right to vote, then only they receive the election documents and the Ballot Paper (A piece of paper that is used for secret voting).
Afterward, the voter puts their completed ballot into a ballot box. The ballot box must be locked and sealed until counting begins so as to ensure that the ballot papers cannot be manipulated. Once ballot box voting has officially ended, the ballot boxes will be opened under close supervision and the ballot papers will be counted according to national voting laws.

Demerits of Ballot box Election :

  1. Ballot Box Election has more and more use of paper that affects the environment.
  2. It takes a huge amount of time to count the votes before declaring the results.

India used paper ballots till the 1990s. The sheer scale of the Indian elections with more than half a billion people eligible to vote, combined with election-related criminal activity, led Indian election authority and high courts to transition to electronic voting.

After 1998, the Indian Election Commission introduced EVM (Electoral Voting Machine )that changed the voting system a lot. Electronic voting machines have been used in all general and state assembly elections of India since 2014. It’s an electronic device that is used for recording votes without the use of paper. TheĀ  EVM's run on normal battery and they do not require electricity. If we talk about the recording capacity of EVM it can record maximum 2,000 votes. The great thing about EVM is if suddenly it stops working for some reason, we can replace it with a new one. Recorded votes are totally safe, it can store results in their memory until a polling officer deletes data.

Now, The working module of EVMs:-
An EVM is designed with two units: the control unit and the balloting unit. These units are joined together by a cable. With the EVM, instead of issuing a ballot paper, the polling officer will press the Ballot Button which enables the voter to cast their vote. EVMs or electronic voting machines provide the voter with a button for each choice which is connected by a cable to an electronic box.

Benefits of EVM in the Elections as compared to the Ballot box:

  1. After the introduction of EVM in an election the use of paper in a huge amount is depressed. According to the survey, about 10,000 tons of ballots were saved in a national election in India due to the use of EVM. It saves more than 20 lac trees. This is totally environmentally friendly.
  2. Surveys given on the election commission of India website show that EVM is more beneficial on the basis of cost printing of ballot paper storage, transportation and cost used on the manpower or to carry ballot papers is very high from EVM.
  3. As we know the weight of EVM machines is very less we can carry and move easily from one place to another as compared with the ballot boxes, that is why people living in the hilly and other inaccessible can cast their vote in the elections.
  4. If we compare the time of ballot box and EVM for calculation of total votes and declaration of result, EVM machines are best for counting of votes it takes a shorter time, for an example Lok Sabha election that was held on 2019 more than 800 million citizens voted their favorite candidates with the help of EVM Machine, votes will take on faster mode and calculate results too fast by comparing ballot boxes.
  5. EVM reduces the forgery votes, according to the rules of the election commission, one person cast one vote at a time and EVM saves the votes in its memory, and software was directly governed by polling booth officers. When votes are finally closed, there is no possibility of a fake vote. This is the best thing available in the EVM machine.
  6. The EVMs are run by batteries, so these machines can be used in those areas where there is no electricity.
  7. Hence, EVM machines are smaller in size and cheaper in rates, the durability of EVM machines is more than 10 years. While comparing the cost of the election of the ballot box and EVM machines the EVM reduces the cost of the election too.

It is proud to know that EVM machines are “Made in India”. After the introduction of EVM machine in elections of India, many of others countries exported EVM machines from India and introduced in their election like Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Namibia, Kenya, etc. Namibia used Indian EVMs in their presidential election too.

Introduction of VVPAT in election
VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail)

A VVPAT helps voters to physically confirm the choice they have made. It consists of a printer that gives a record of vote selection. When the voter casts the vote on the EVM, printer-like VVPAT apparatus linked to the EVM generates a slip showing the serial number, name, and symbol of the candidate to whom the vote was made. With this slip, the voter can verify his casted vote.

First-time VVPAT was introduced in August 2013 amending the conduct of election rules. Thereafter, the VVPATs have been used in selected constituencies in every election to the State Assemblies. In a democracy, there is perhaps nothing more important than the credibility of the electoral process therefore in a democracy, elections should not only be fair but should be seen to be fair. By shoring up its image and bringing in some more transparent reforms, the EC can restore faith in elections.