A tablet installed for webcasting at the entrance of a booth at Red Cross Society in Ranchi on Thursday. (Hardeep Singh)
Officials deputed on election duty in 600 booths across the six Jharkhand constituencies that went to polls on Thursday kept a close watch on the voting process, well aware that they were being monitored too.
As per EC directive, webcasting through tablets was done in these booths and the feed was streamed live on state chief electoral officer’s website. Besides facilitating vigilance, the move helped MP hopefuls keep a tab on voter turnout.
This apart, the administration remained well prepared to handle untoward incidents at sensitive booths. Most importantly, the surveillance exercise made voters feel safe.
In many booths, two cameras were set up for a better view.
To view live feed of the voting process, one just needed to go the website of the chief electoral officer, Jharkhand, select the constituency and view the poll proceedings.
Speaking to The Telegraph, state’s chief electoral officer P.K. Jajoria said 25 techies from Bihar-based IT firm Graphic Trades had been entrusted to carry out the webcasting. “The firm was roped in through tender process in February,” he said.
Regarding advantages of webcasting, Jajoria said: “Now, we can keep vigil on poll proceedings and errant officials can be taken to task.”
Jajoria added that they would also “live-track” the counting process.
Meanwhile, voters appreciated the surveillance exercise. “With the process being closely monitored, I was able to cast my vote fearlessly,” said 42-year-old Mahesh Kumar, who voted at booth 14 in ATI Building.
Booth No. 7 at Red Cross Society building was another booth where a tablet was installed beside the EVM machine. Polling agent Iqbal Khan said: “Control room se sab dekh rahe hai kis tarah voting ho raha hain (They are closely monitoring the voting process from the control room).”
Trinamul Congress nominee from Ranchi Bandhu Tirkey was one of the MP hopefuls who tracked poll proceedings through webcasting.
“We are constantly monitoring how many voters are visiting booths to keep ourselves abreast of the poll process,” he said.
Apart from webcasting, video recording was also carried out in select booths. These will be kept for record.