In a first of its kind in India, citizens of Delhi are likely to elect their municipal representatives through online polling for the municipal corporation elections due next year.
The Delhi State Election Commission has submitted a proposal to the Delhi government, seeking approval to start conducting trials for its online voting services to encourage and bring in more young voters.
Rakesh Mehta, State Election Commissioner, told The Sunday Guardian, “We have submitted a proposal regarding this to the Delhi government and we are waiting for a nod from the Delhi government to go ahead with this. Once this is implemented, voters would be able to cast their votes from their smartphones and laptops right from the comfort of their homes and would not have to necessarily go to the polling station.” According to Election Commission officials, this move has been taken to bring in a greater number of young voters into the voting system and also provide them with the ease of using technology. “Youths in the urban areas don’t like to go to polling stations and stand in queue, thus they skip voting. In order to give them the taste of technology and the comfort of voting from their drawing rooms, we are planning to introduce online voting,” an official of the State Election Commission said.
With the Aadhaar Bill being passed in the Lok Sabha and on its way to being legalised, the online voting system would be linked to one’s Aadhaar card. “Voters wanting to go for online polling would have to register themselves online, which will link them with their Aadhaar card. This will be done to check fictitious or double voting. Once the voter registers online, they will be given a One Time Password (OTP) and a unique user ID, that would be deactivated as soon as the voter casts his/her vote,” Mehta added.
The Election Commission is also developing a software that would track and monitor all online voting in real time to check fraudulence or malpractices. However, physical polling booths would also be there, as people who would not prefer voting online would have the option of casting their votes physically.