Few takers for online voting in Gujarat civic body polls

Ahmedabad: E-voting introduced by Gujarat State Election Commission for polling in six municipal corporations held yesterday, had very few takers as only 806 people voted online out of the total of over 95.9 lakh voters.

Gujarat SEC has been the first in the country to allow online voting facility for voters of eight municipal corporations areas of the state.

This facility was first offered to voters in 2010, and this was the second election were voters could vote online. Political parties feel that SEC should make the procedure for online voting more simple and promote it among youths to popularise its use.

The Central Election Commission had recently sent its Election Commissioner A K Joti to learn about the e-voting platform of the SEC with a view to find out the possibilities of implementing it in Assembly and Parliament elections.

Though over 20,000 people had applied for registration for e-voting in the six municipal corporation areas in 2015, but when it came to submitting their documents for verification only 1,310 voters completed the procedure, officials of SEC said.

“Out of 1,310 finally registered voters, 806 people voted online yesterday,” SEC officials said. Experts feel that though the facility provided by the SEC is good, it needs to be popularised among youths.

“Though the facility is good, the administration needs to spread more awareness and popularise it among youths so more and more people will take benefit of the facility,” computer expert Rajesh Joshi said.

The EC has also created one online voting booth for e-voters but they need to have more such booths so that those who do not have access to internet facility can come to such booths and vote, he said.

Former Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, who had registered himself for online voting, could not do so yesterday as his registration was not filanised.

Patel had to travel all the way to Rajkot his hometown to exercise his vote.