Sunday, November 30, 2008

Roping in ‘immigrants’ will hike voters’ percentage

ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS in several states have been announced. Very soon India will go in general elections to elect its 15th Lok Sabha. In the past several elections, voting percentage has been the concern of those who want India to become a better democracy.

Higher voting percentage will indicate greater participation of citizen in the democratic process and thus enhance the strength of democracy. Thus all of us, who feel strongly about democratic traditions, must come forward and ensure greater voter turnout.
One of the problems in the way of higher voter turnout is the problem of immigrant population.

A large number of people work for central and state governments, private sector and thus have to live away from their home town where they are enrolled as voters. Some of them even get enrolled as voters in the towns where they are working but they don’t vote because they don’t feel a sense of belonging as they cannot identify with the politics and problems of that place.

Often state and central government employees working for elections outside their state are unable to vote as their names are not listed in the voters’ list. By enabling such people to vote will hike the voting percentage and subsequently create larger participation of people in the political process.

I think for this we should use a new system of voting.

  1. The system will use National Informatics Centers (NIC) as voting centers. NIC has its offices in every district of the country and it may be opened at every place which is not a district headquarters but has a good number of immigrant populations.
  2. Every Person who wants to vote for her/his constituency back home will apply at NIC office in area she/he is living, with his electoral voter identity card (EPIC) and thus will be registered at the place. His/her name will be omitted from voter list to be used at election day of her/his poling booth back home.
  3. As soon as final list of candidates of the particular constituency is prepared, it will be loaded on election commission website with a layout for voting.
  4. Those who are registered at an NIC office will visit the same carrying their EPIC and directed to a computer where they can vote for their constituency. A copy of their EPIC and a photo taken by the web cam while using computer will be saved and loaded on the website.
  5. The system will use a password created by voter to vote so as to prevent bogus voting.
  6. Data of such votes will be available for the use of concerned election office back home for finalizing election results.
    Such voting can be done after list of candidates are loaded on website to the day of counting in the concerned constituency.
  7. Even those who are living in their constituencies may be offered the facility of early and late voting. Such voting may be offered between the time of final list of candidates are prepared and day of counting, barring five days around the voting day. Such voting must be stopped two days ahead of voting day and those who had already voted will be marked in voter lists to be sent to polling booth and resumed once polling data of polling day reaches NIC offices.

Polling centers of such voting will be made at NIC office and an observer from election commission could always be there to check irregularities.

This System may have some problems but I am sure once officials and civil society starts looking into this system, we may get a wonderful system of electronic voting which will ensure greater participation and stringer democracy.


Anonymous said...

Nice Idea

Dignified said...

i wanna vote also bt i live away frm home