Tamil Nadu

Novel initiative to check bogus voting

For the first time in the State, images of all voters, captured on web cameras at the time of polling, will be compared with their images available in the central server’s database of electoral photo rolls.

This will be done in the Tiruchendur and Vandavasi Assembly constituencies, where by-elections will be held on Saturday.

The comparison will be carried out by the control room set-up at the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Naresh Gupta, CEO, said, adding that any discrepancies found would be immediately acted upon.

The entire poll proceedings at polling stations of the two constituencies would be recorded live.

Tiruchendur and Vandavasi accounted for 196 stations and 217 stations respectively.

After conducting a video-conferencing session with the District Election Officers of Tiruvannamalai and Tuticorin districts, Mr. Gupta told reporters that polling officials concerned should ensure entries in registers regarding the production of documents for identification.

Apart from the Electors’ Photo Identity Cards, 13 documents such as passports, driving licences, Permanent Account Number cards, issued by the Income Tax department, and Health Insurance Scheme Smart Cards, issued by the Union Labour Ministry up to October 31, 2009, would be allowed.

Asked why family cards issued by the State Food and Civil Supplies department were not accepted for identification, Mr. Gupta replied that the Minister concerned went on record in the Assembly that there were surplus cards in circulation.

The State had a high degree of coverage of EPIC, he said, wondering why there should be insistence on family cards.

In August when the by-elections were held in five constituencies, there were no problems on this count.

Regarding the complaints of distribution of money to voters, Mr. Gupta acknowledged that it was difficult to pursue such cases.

He had been getting a number of complaints such as distribution of dhotis or saris, exchange of tokens for liquor and recharging of mobile phone connections.

As for the distribution of money or materials, those who were indulging in such activities disappeared from the scene as soon as government officials went to the spot.

Security arrangements

Totally, 11 companies, five from the Central Reserve Police Force and six from the Karnataka State Reserve Police, had been ordered for deployment.

Already, six and a half companies had arrived in Tiruchendur and four companies in Vandavasi, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 6:19:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Novel-initiative-to-check-bogus-voting/article16853738.ece

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