Political consesnsus is the way forward for introducing remote voting in India, Election Commission of India officials on Thursday told a Parliamentary Standing Committee, it is learnt.
It is learnt that the poll panel officials made a power point presentation before the Standing Committee on Personal, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, which is headed by BJP Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi. Officials from the Legislative Department were also present in the meeting.
During the meeting, the officials explained the concept of remote voting and remote voter, international experience of remote voting, current remote voters in India, technology required for remote voting, administrative legal issues and the way forward, it is learnt.
They also discussed the problems associated with the implementation of remote voting. Remote voting refers to a mechanism that allows electors to vote from locations other than polling stations assigned to their registered constituencies.
The officials highlighted that remote voting may require legal changes in electoral roll related provision; polling booth, polling officials and territorial concept; conduct of elections; counting and electoral offences.
It is learnt that the poll panel officials informed the committee that being a matter of importance, the ECI is deliberating the matter on active basis.
It is important that any system of remote voting has to take into account the confidence and acceptability of all the stakeholders of the electoral system — voters, political parties and election machinery, the officials are learnt to have informed the committee while political consensus is the way forward to introduce remote voting.
The standing committee is deliberating on key electoral reforms which have been proposed, including linking of Aadhaar with voter ID. The committee has also decided to take up three other proposed electoral reforms, which include remote voting; action against elected representatives filing false affidavits; and common electoral roll for conducting all elections from village panchayat to Parliament.
The committee has taken up the remote voting issue at a time when the ECI plans to start mapping the population of migrant workers across the country to prepare a roadmap for its introduction.