wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Telangana State Election Commission drops e-voting plan for Hyderabad local body elections

The Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) has decided to drop its plan to introduce e-voting in the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections. The TSEC found itself unable to implement e-voting without amending the GHMC Act, State Election Commissioner C. Parthasarathi told MediaNama. Additionally, the state’s IT department asked TSEC for more time to deliver the technology and there wasn’t enough time, he said. The IT department is quite confident about delivering the a working solution, he added. The development was first reported by the Deccan Chronicle.

The GHMC elections will be held on December 1, with counting on December 4, according to the schedule announced by the TSEC on Tuesday. More than 74 lakh voters are eligible to vote across GHMC’s 150 wards. Earlier this month, the TSEC had announced that e-voting would allow senior citizens, polling officials, and COVID-19 patients to vote remotely using their mobile phones. If it had been implemented, it would have been a first in the country, making it another distinction for the TSEC, which had made history by being the first election body in India to deploy facial recognition in the Kompally urban local body elections in January this year.

‘GHMC Act has to be amended’

Parthasarathi said that TSEC cannot implement e-voting without a significant amendment of the GHMC Act. He pointed out that the Assembly session had been concluded last month, and said the government isn’t keen to amend the Act in the form of an ordinance.

“E-voting is an entirely different method of voting. And TSEC is bound to act per [GHMC] Act. That is a must. The language in the current Act only talks about ballot papers and EVMs, and has nothing about online voting. So an amendment is absolutely necessary.” — C. Parthasarathi, State Election Commissioner, Telangana to MediaNama

Parthasarathi added that the TSEC had, in fact, sent the government the suggested text for amendment, but the government said it was too late.

Earlier this month, when the e-voting announcement was made, the TSEC had plans to implement the technology in the Warangal and Khammam corporation elections that are expected sometime in 2021. But this was conditional on the e-voting system’s success in the GHMC elections.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

When asked if the TSEC’s plans remain unchanged vis-a-vis Warangal and Khammam, Parthasarathi said he would take the matter up with the government once the GHMC elections over. “Ultimately, government has to issue some order, permitting me to [conduct e-voting],” he said.

Additionally, according to the Deccan Chronicle’s report, GHMC officials were wary of implementing the e-voting plan. Sources told the publication that the e-voting process would be hindered if computer operators aren’t skilled and trained for the job. Also, they were reportedly fearful of political parties influencing e-voters in some way.

‘Software team needed more time’

Another reason for dropping the plan, Parthasarathi said, was that the state IT department, tasked with delivering the e-voting technology, was unable to deliver within the necessary time period. “They are very confident that they will be able to deliver the technology, but needed another month’s time. Since this concerns elections, they want to be completely sure to avoid any problems. They are being extra careful while conducting trials so there are no problems during elections,” he said.

Multiple changes to plan before cancellation

The e-voting plan first came to light in late September. The TSEC was considering using a blockchain-based e-voting. Initially, Telangana State Technology Services (TSTS), a specialised agency under the IT department, was supposed to implement a facial recognition-based authentication mechanism for the e-voting system. G.T. Venkateshwar Rao, the managing director of TSTS, had told us that the facial recognition software would be based on Telangana’s already widely-used Real Time Digital Authentication of Identity (RTDAI) system.

This plan was eventually modified last month, after the TSEC made the e-voting an official part of the plan. Ranjan had told us that the e-voting system would instead be based on Aadhaar. Eligible voters were supposed to be authenticated using one-time password (OTP) sent to their Aadhaar-linked mobile number on a preregistered device.

Read more: 

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.

News

The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ