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Software in cellphones to keep tab on poll officials

M. Malleswara Rao
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Bhanwar Lal
Bhanwar Lal

The Election Commission will use a new software to curb electoral malpractices which may be indulged in by officials, during the byelections to the Kadapa Lok Sabha and Pulivendula Assembly constituencies.

The mobile phones of officials in all the 1,493 polling stations of Kadapa parliamentary constituency will be equipped with this software which will enable Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal in the Secretariat to keep track of their movements and also the calls they make. The software has been developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Toll-free number

Mr. Bhanwar Lal, who held discussions with the NIC officials here on Saturday, said a helpline with toll-free number ‘1965' would start functioning in his office from April 7 to receive complaints relating to the byelections.

A call made to this number would automatically go to another helpline that would be set up in the Kadapa Collectorate. Once the software is installed in their mobile phones, the polling officials will also receive details of the complaint.

GPRS embedded

Using the general packet radio service (GPRS) embedded in the software, the authorities would be able to ascertain whether or not the call was generated from a particular polling station area or from somewhere else.

On the polling day, the Chief Electoral Officer would use the software to locate polling officials. They would be required to contact the State Cell and intimate the Chief Electoral Officer about their arrival at the booth, arrangements made, arrival of polling agents, commencement of polling, and the polling percentages every two hours.

If a presiding officer sends the SMSs from outside, the Chief Electoral Officer would immediately come to know about it because of the software. If the official is found not at the booth, the CEO will take action against him.

Vinod Zutshi, Deputy Commissioner, EC, held discussions with the Chief Electoral Officer in connection with the bypolls.

Chief Electoral Officer to keep track of all the 1,493 polling stations in Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency


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