Hyderabad Municipal elections: State Election Commission to allow e-voting

The State Election Commissioner has asked Principal Secretary (IT) Jayesh Ranjan to pass relevant government orders to allow e-voting on trial basis.
A voter getting thermal screening before exercising her franchise in Dubbaka
A voter getting thermal screening before exercising her franchise in Dubbaka
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The Telangana State Election Commission (SEC) on Monday decided to allow e-voting on a pilot basis for polling personnel, those in quarantine due to COVID-19 and senior citizens in the coming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections.

State Election Commissioner C Parthasarathi discussed the technical issues involved, the method of registering for e-voting and voting online while adhering to the norms of secrecy of voting with state Principal Secretary (IT) Jayesh Ranjan and other officials, an official release said.

The Commission requested the officials to give a demonstration on the software to be used, it said. Ranjan was requested to get the requisite orders passed by the government for taking up e-voting, it said.

Parthasarathi told PTI that the idea of e-voting came about because of the pandemic. The Commission would first define as to who can opt for e-voting, he said, adding that steps would be taken using technology to ensure requisite secrecy of the process.

"The Commission is thinking of scaling up the method of e-voting in the coming Warangal and Khammam civic body polls based on its implementation in the GHMC polls," the release said.

The GHMC polls are likely to take place before the expiry of the term of the present body in early February 2021. 

The Commission has earlier announced that they will introduce facial recognition systems in at least 150 polling booths in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections. This decision, without the consultation of the political parties, drew the ire of the AIMIM. The AIMIM said that they will oppose the facial recognition technology on grounds that the system was a violation of right to privacy, and that it was prone to ‘misuse’ and ‘susceptible to breach’.

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