New Delhi: There is no proposal to use the remote electronic voting machine (RVM) in the “upcoming election” in the country and it is also not proposed for the use of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) voters, Lok Sabha was informed on Friday.
Responding to a question in the Lower House of Parliament, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply that according to the Election Commission (EC), it has “not proposed to introduce the RVM for the upcoming election in the country”.
Several assembly polls are due this year, while the Lok Sabha elections will be held in 2024.
The minister said the EC has also informed that the RVM is not proposed for the use of NRI voters.
Rijiju noted that public sector unit Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), under the guidance of the EC and the Technical Expert Committee of the poll panel, has developed a prototype of the Multi Constituency Remote Electronic Voting Machine.
The EC, he said, had circulated a concept note to all national and state political parties on improving voter participation of domestic migrants using remote voting .
The note included matters such as defining a ‘migrant voter’, addressing the territorial concept, the method of remote voting and counting of votes, enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct, and setting up of controlled environment to ensure free and fair voting.
Citing details shared by the EC, he said the introduction of RVM would not increase fake votes.
“The prototype RVM developed by ECIL is a robust and stand-alone system based on the existing EVMs… Independently, various statutes — the Representation of People Act, 1950, and the Representation of People Act, 1951, the Conduct of Election Rules and various guidelines and instructions of the EC will ensure that the confirmation/genuineness of voter identity is verified,” Rijiju said.
Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had last month described the EC’s proposal on remote voting as a “work in progress” and said it was not an easy subject and reaching decisions in a democracy takes time.
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Responding to questions on the recent all-party consultations on remote voting, he had said it was “successful” with representatives of recognised parties sitting through the entire day. The issue of 30 crore “missing voters” came to limelight.
Kumar had said urban voters, youth and domestic migrants form part of the 30 crore voters who did not participate in the last Lok Sabha elections.
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