EC pats officials, cops for successful conduct of panchayat polls

Hyderabad: On the successful completion of first phase of Gram Panchayat Elections involving 4,470 Gram Panchayats and 39,628 Wards, the Election Commission has congratulate the 1.5 lakh government officers, staff and police personnel for working round-the-clock, including festival days and making the process a success.

The Te-poll software was very useful for the officers, candidates and the voters in preparing the electoral rolls, their downloading by candidates and generation of voter slips by the voters. There were about 3.36 crore hits on the server hosting the TSEC.GOV.IN Webportal downloading approximately 5,021 G.B. data. Similarly, voters have downloaded 11,105 voter slips through the mobile app and 187163 through the Web Portal of TSEC.
The Te-poll software provided an opportunity to contesting candidates for filing nominations online. This facility was used by 357 number of sarpanch candidates and 526 by ward members. SEC requests the candidates in future elections to utilize this opportunity and make the nomination process very simple and efficient. The Te-poll software was also useful in publicising the disclosure of assets, liabilities, criminal antecedents and educational qualifications of the contesting candidates.
The Te-poll software is also convenient for uploading the expenditure accounts by the contesting candidates. It is pertinent to note that 12,759 candidates of 2013-14 Panchayat Elections were disqualified for non filing of expenditure accounts. Quite a few of these disqualified persons complained that they had submitted their expenditure account but could not prove the same in the absence of any evidence to this effect. This problem can be circumvented if the contestants upload expenditure accounts through Te-poll software thereby obtaining instant acknowledgement as proof of submission.

Novel use of tender vote statistics
Impersonation, apart from cheating genuine voters also tends to distort peoples mandate especially in gram panchayats where it is common to see a single vote making the difference between winning and losing. With a view to check this menace the State Election Commission made it mandatory to obtain the clearance of
General Observers before commencing counting in all polling stations wherever there is even one tender vote cast.
There were two such cases reported during Phase I Gram Panchayat Elections. The SEC after examining the entire issue has declared the poll in both the places as void and ordered for re-poll. So voters may note that tender vote is not a waste, it can even defeat the designs of the vested interests who indulge in impersonation to cheat genuine voters.
The State Election Commission thanks all the stakeholders for their cooperation during the first phase of Gram Panchayat elections and expect even better compliance during the second and third phases scheduled to be held on January 25 and 30.