Election authority writes to govt to purchase EVMs

Election Commissioner Ishwari Paudel says they have urged the government to ensure delivery of 30 percent electronic voting machines by September-end

Aug 13, 2017-The Election Commission has formally asked the government to purchase electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the upcoming provincial and federal parliamentary elections.

Although the election authority has reminded the government that the use of EVMs eases election management amid a tight schedule, this is the first time that the EC has urged the government to purchase EVMs.

According to EC officials, the letter was sent on Friday stressing the need for using EVMs in the two elections. “We have urged the government to ensure delivery of 30 percent EVMs by September-end, in time to launch the voter education programme,” said Election Commissioner Ishwari Paudel. “We have sought delivery of all EVMs by the second week of October.”

The EC has proposed holding polls for provincial assemblies in the second week of October and the elections to the federal parliament in the third week of November.

The EC said it can spare two weeks if the two elections are held separately. But the government and the political parties want both the polls held together.

The commission argues that it would be more urgent to hold both the elections together because of the difficulty in printing possibly 70 million ballot papers in a short span of time.

The election body has suggested three alternatives for EVM procurement. Indian EVMs manufactured by the Bharat Electronic Limited, Bangalore and the Electronic Corporation of India, Hyderabad, those produced by the British company Smartmatic and the ones made by the Israeli company SuperCom.

The election body recently sent a high-level team to study the Indian EVMs.

Published: 13-08-2017 08:11

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