E-voting plans falter as few warm up to idea

The state Election Commission (SEC) has extended the date for registration of online voters in six municipal corporations of the state where civic polls are to be held in the first fortnight of October this year. The last date, which was earlier declared to be August 16, has now been extended to August 21.

The decision was taken following poor response from the people. SEC secretary P S Shah said people could not go to registration centres due to heavy rains over the last 10 days and hoped more people would turn up at online registration centres now with rains having stopped.

According to SEC officials, a little more than 500 persons have got themselves registered for online voting so far and the maximum response is from Ahmedabad, where 152 came forward, followed by Surat (125), Jamnagar (115), Vadodara (75), Rajkot (64) and Bhavnagar (10).

Officials say the response was much poor than expected although a large number of people in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Surat are computer-savvy. Shah said heavy rains could have prevented people from visiting the registration centres.

The online voting system is being introduced in the state on an experimental basis at an initial cost of Rs 31.6 crore for the first time in the country. The idea came from Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

According to Shah, online voting option would be available in polls for municipal corporations of Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Bhavanagar, Jamnagar and Rajkot.

Those willing for registration as online voter can download the application forms from http://sec.gujarat.gov.in and submit after filling them up at the nearest designated centre.

Username and password would be sent by e-mail and mobile, respectively before the polling day.

According to Shah, there would be four steps to caste an e-vote. The first step involves logging with username and password, select candidate in the second step, confirm selection by entering a passcode received on mobile phone and in the fourth step, voter would get a receipt of the vote cast.

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