New Delhi: Days after chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar undertook an hours-long trek to a remote polling station in Uttarakhand, the poll panel on Tuesday decided to double the remuneration of polling officials going to such booths as early as three days before voting day. In a statement, the EC said to enhance voting percentage, especially among migrants, “Time has come to explore possibilities of remote voting, maybe on a pilot basis”.
“Voters migrate from the place of their registration to cities and other places for education, employment, and other purposes. It becomes difficult for them to return to their registered polling stations to cast their vote. The Commission felt that time has come to explore possibilities of remote voting, maybe on a pilot basis,” it said.
A committee would be set up to examine the issues of migrant voters. Given the fact that voters and political parties are the primary stakeholders, wider consultation with all stakeholders including parties would be started thereafter, it explained.
At a meeting of the poll panel, it was also decided to develop special water and shock proof, extra protective backpacks or cases to carry EVM-VVPATs and safeguard the machines provided to all such teams to aid hands-free movement in difficult terrain.
Seeking to address voting apathy in urban areas, now all central and state government departments, central and state PSUs and corporate entities with 500 plus employees will appoint a nodal officer to ascertain leave availing but non-voting employees.
“It is kind of name and shame as people in poll going areas get a day’s off under the Negotiable Instruments Act with the primary purpose of facilitating voting by employees,” explained a senior functionary. PTI

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