Upgraded EVMs to help polling officials during state assembly elections

The modified EVMs will make the polling and counting process more convenient for officials in the approaching state assembly elections

With the state assembly election now imminent, election officials are leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the polls go as smoothly as possible. For the first time, the state Election Commission (EC) is introducing upgraded electronic voting machines (EVMs) to make the process more convenient for the election officials.

So far, Pune has only used EVMs which were manufactured before 2006.  File pic

As many as 21,000 modified EVMs have been brought in from five districts in UP for the upcoming elections. With the older EVMs, officials had to take both the Control Unit (CU) and the Ballot Unit (BU) to the counting halls for the results, but with the modified machines, they will only have to carry the CU for counting. The modified machines are dated post-2006; so far only pre-2006 EVMs have been used in the district.

“We have never used post-2006 EVMs – even the Lok Sabha election was conducted with the older EVMs. However, the district administration has now decided to use the upgraded versions,” said Deputy District Election Officer, Samiksha Chandrakar.

“The EVMs have already been brought in from Agra, Moradabad, Auraiya and Ghaziabad. The district officials of Etah will also be sending EVMs that will reach Pune district in the next couple of days. Other districts in the state will get the EVMs from Chhattisgarh,” she said.

Thorough inspections
The EVMs, which are currently sealed in a godown at Shivaji Nagar, will be inspected by engineers from Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) next month.

“We have requested the EC to send a team of 30 engineers to carry out the first level of inspection to ensure that the machines have not been tampered with.

Representatives from political parties will also be invited during the inspection to ensure transparency,” Chandrakar said. She added that after the machines are inspected, they would be allotted to various assembly segments.

“Before the actual day of voting, the EVMs will be checked a second time during the mock poll,” said Chandrakar.

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