E-Voting in Local Elections in Gujarat

IAS Prelims 2023

E-Voting will be used in the coming local bodies elections in Gujarat. The proces  in this reagard has already started.

More than 20,000 people have registered themselves with the Gujarat State Election Commission (SEC) for online voting in the polls of six municipal corporations to be held on November 22.

The move is aimed at addressing “urban apathy” to voting and increase the turnout on election day.

Gujarat had become the first state in the country to offer e-voting in municipal corporation polls in 2010.

This time SEC is offering e-voting facilities in all the six municipal corporations – Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar were elections are slated for November 22.

For e-voting, one has to register himself first with the SEC and on the voting day they are free to vote online from anywhere on specially created SEC online voting website.

Highest number of voters, 7,427, were registered in Surat, while lowest number, 1,505, were registered in Bhavnagar, Joshi said, adding, Ahmedabad city recorded 2,756 voters.

In 2010, 67.76 per cent of those who had registered themselves had voted online.

While in July 2014, in the Junagadh Municipal Corporation polls 75.95 per cent of registered voters had used e-voting facilities.

The facility of E-Voting in local elections will be availed by those who have no time to come out to booths and vote. Now that voting is compulsory in the local body elections from this time, the online facility will facilitate and complement the same.

Last year, the state had passed the Gujarat Local Authorities Laws Bills 2009, which made voting mandatory and ensured 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies.

As for online voting, the state election panel had carried out a pilot project in select wards in 2010. Last year, voters in all the wards in Junagadh were provided this facility.