The Telegraph
Saturday , July 4 , 2015

Multiple-booth counting push

New Delhi, July 3: The Law Commission today told the Supreme Court it favoured introducing a "totaliser" in electronic voting machines to allow multiple-booth counting, thus insuring against voter harassment after the declaration of results.

A totaliser is a mechanism that allows votes from some 14 polling booths to be counted together. Currently, votes are counted booth-wise, making voters vulnerable to victimisation by parties or candidates trailing from their booth.

Placing an interim report before the apex court today, the law commission said it endorsed the use of totalisers, first suggested by the Election Commission in 2008.

The Centre had referred that recommendation to a parliamentary committee in 2009, but no action was taken on it.

In 2014, the apex court sought responses from the Centre, poll panel and the Law Commission after two individuals, Yogesh Gupta and Imran Khan, moved a public interest plea.

The petitioners want a directive to the poll panel to mix up the votes from various polling stations within a constituency before counting them so that the results do not reveal booth-wise voting patterns.

Before the introduction of the voting machines, ballot papers could be mixed wherever necessary, under Rule 59A of the Representation of the People Act, to prevent revelation of local voting trends.

The petitioners have cited reports of voter intimidation before last year's general election by then Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.

Pawar had allegedly told

 More stories in Nation

  • School board hurdle to IIT, NIT hopefuls
  • Congress pins 'anti-India' label on BJP
  • Twin push for gas pipelines
  • Govt refuses to axe Chauhan from FTII
  • BJP seeks apology for Modi
  • Speeding cuffs on Hema's driver
  • BRICS plan to trade in local currencies
  • Defamation circular climbdown for Kejri
  • HC vetoes docs, frees 'Maoist' professor
  • Rs 5cr 'moving office'