The Election Commission held discussions with recognized political parties on Monday to discuss the use of remote voting machines (RVMs) and the logistical challenges surrounding their implementation. The date for submission of written views by political parties on the issue has been extended to February 28. During the discussions, representatives from eight national and 40 state-recognized political parties agreed with the broad objectives of efforts to increase voter participation in the election process. Some opposition parties questioned the need for RVMs.
More than 80 representatives from political parties participated in the discussions and listened to each other’s submissions. They reportedly appreciated the Election Commission’s initiative of holding these discussions and suggested that more such discussions should be held on a regular basis in the future.
Opposition leaders called on the Election Commission to address the issue of low voter turnout in urban areas. They also questioned the need for remote voting machines (RVMs) and suggested that the commission should first address concerns about electronic voting machines raised by citizens before implementing RVMs. A senior Congress leader, Digvijaya Singh, stated that the idea of RVMs is not acceptable, while an Aam Aadmi Party leader, Sanjay Singh, argued that there are other ways to increase voter participation.
Sanjay Singh, the Aam Aadmi Party leader, also raised the point that it would be difficult to campaign for eligible migrant voters in different states using RVMs. He also mentioned that RVMs are not acceptable when there is a by-poll on one seat, such as in Jalandhar.
The Election Commission held in-depth discussions with recognized political parties on Monday to discuss the use of remote voting machines (RVMs) and the logistical challenges surrounding their implementation. This was the first time the commission held such discussions in over five years. The discussions focused on the concept of remote voting for domestic migrants, including legal, administrative, and logistical challenges. Some political parties requested a demonstration of the Remote Voting Machine in the states, while others wanted the concept of domestic migrants to be defined before moving forward. The commission’s objective is to find a technological solution for migrant voters that is credible, accessible, and acceptable to all stakeholders. They are exploring the use of a modified version of the time-tested model of M3 EVMs to enable voting at remote polling stations, which are polling stations outside the voter’s home constituency, for domestic migrants.