EC Halts Remote Voting Machine (RVM) Demo As Opposition Protests
The EC has planned to launch RVMs so that migrant voters also get the chance to vote. It will make elections more fair. 65 parties supported but 16 opposed it.
According to party leaders present at the ECI’s all-party meeting on Monday, opposition parties voiced strong resistance to the deployment of such a system and questioned the necessity of the demonstration and discussion of the remote voting machine for migrant voters.
According to party leaders present, opposition parties strongly opposed the deployment of such a system and questioned the necessity of the demonstration and discussion of the remote voting machine (RVM) for migrant voters at the all-party meeting held by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday.
The deadline to submit written comments was extended from January 31 to February 28 by the poll watchdog, but no protests were held during the meeting, which was participated by the presidents, chairs, and general secretaries of eight recognised national political parties and 40 identified regional political parties.
The ECI requested an all-party conference last month to examine the “broad objectives of every endeavor to incorporate non-voting voters in the electoral process” over the course of a full day.
“More than 80 political party officials listened to each other’s arguments with patience. They praised ECI for taking the initiative to ask for an all-party discussion and recommended holding more of these meetings regularly in the future”, an EC official said while requesting anonymity.
“We had a frank discussion about every issue relating to the legal, administrative, and logistical issues for remote voting.
Before moving forward with the topic, certain political parties wanted to demonstrate the RVM in the states, while others wanted to define the term “domestic migrants,” the official stated.
On December 29, the ECI announced that it had created a prototype of a multi-constituency RVM for domestic migrants.
This announcement could be historic because it could increase voter turnout and solve the issue of having to travel to one’s home district during election time.
The commission had earlier asked for the written opinions of registered political parties by January 31 on a number of topics, including changes that needed to be made to the law, adjustments to administrative processes, and, if any other, the voting process/RVM/technology for domestic migrants. It pushed back the deadline until February 28 on Monday.
If the new initiative is put into effect, migrant voters will no longer be required to travel to their home district in order to exercise their right to vote and will instead be eligible to utilize a remote electronic voting machine (EVM).
Currently, a voter must physically travel to the district where they are registered to vote in order to cast their ballot.
Opposition parties criticized the RVM’s effectiveness, transparency, and viability after the all-party meeting on Monday.
In the past, opposition parties have repeatedly claimed that the EVMS had been tampered with during elections. However a party objects or blames EVMs only when they lose the election.