New initiatives have been put in place to make the election process in the five States going to polls — Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand — from January onwards more electorate-friendly and to check money and muscle power.
A toll-free number, 1950 — the year the Election Commission was set up — to reach EC officials in case of any grievance in the five States.
A round-the-clock call centre.
Ramps and other amenities at polling booths for physically challenged persons. EVMs in Braille script for the visually challenged voter.
Voter slips with photograph will be distributed by the EC; they will have the exact location of the polling booths and the serial number of the ballot.
All candidates to be asked to open new bank accounts for all poll-related expenses for easy monitoring by the EC.
Press Council of India-nominated journalists to check instances of paid news. These committees will be set up at the level of the EC, the State and every district.
Tightened vigilance at airports, railway stations and bus terminals to secretly monitor the money movement. The Income Tax Department will be part of this exercise.
Modified format for filing affidavits on criminal background, assets and liabilities and educational qualifications.
Polling parties to be selected randomly and told of their deputation a day ahead of the polls.
Revised electoral rolls to be published on January 2, 2012 in all five States.