New Delhi. In its ongoing efforts for inclusive elections and to address all the critical-gaps in the electoral rolls and electoral participation, the Election Commission of India is conducting pilot of Electronic Transmitted Postal Ballot for service voters in the bye-election at 17 Nellithope Assembly Constituency, Puducherry to be held on 19th November 2016.
ECI’s vision is to strive for free and fair elections based on error free and authenticated Electoral Roles with higher level of participation and inclusiveness of the voters and ECI is embracing new and upgraded technical tools for election planning, conduct and monitoring. One of the shining example of use of technology is the use of Electronic Voting Machine and VVPAT.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) is always committed to conduct all-inclusive elections and “No voter to be left behind”,“कोई मतदाता ना छूटे” is the slogan of the ECI. To realize this vision, ECI is leveraging Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for free, fair, peaceful, transparent and more efficient Election operations.
Service voters have option of casting votes through proxy or postal ballot. Currently, physical ballot papers are sent to the service voters and the casted votes are received back through post. This, at times is proving time consuming and causing delay. Keeping this limitation in mind, the ECI has entrusted Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a government undertaking working under the aegis of MeitY, Government of India to undertake development of one-way postal ballot delivery through electronic medium system.
C-DAC has developed the “Electronic Transmitted Postal Ballot” delivery system, wherein, the service voters will be receiving the downloadable postal ballot through two-layer secure electronic medium i.e. secured ‘One Time Password (OTP)’ for downloading the encrypted files sent through mobile/e-mail and the system generated unique “Personal Identification Number” (PIN) for decrypting and printing each and every single postal ballot to the individual service voter/ authorized person. The casted votes by service voters would be received by returning officer through post.
“Electronic Transmitted Postal Ballot delivery system” has been developed under the complete guidance of Election Commission of India and inputs from concerned stakeholders. The system is fully secured and has been tested for various technical issues. Necessary security audit certificates have been obtained.
Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) has notified necessary amendments in conduct of elections rules through the Gazette on 21st Oct, 2016, enabling deployment of Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System.
This electronic transmitted postal ballot system is being used as a pilot in the bye-election at 17 Nellithope Assembly Constituency, Puducherry where poll is scheduled to be held on 19th November, 2016.
(source : Press Information Bureau)