New Delhi: Inability to vote due to internal migration, along with ”urban apathy and youth apathy”, is contributing to low voter turnouts, the Election Commission (EC) told a parliamentary panel on Monday while discussing the feasibility of remote voting, sources said.
Senior officials of the EC and the Department of Legislative briefed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, chaired by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Bihar chief minister Sushil Modi.
Stating that it has always been concerned about the issue of ”about 30 crore electors not exercising their franchise” and a differential voter turnout in different states, the EC said there are multifarious reasons for a voter not exercising his right to vote.
”Amongst the many reasons like urban apathy and youth apathy, inability to vote due to internal migration (domestic migration) is also one prominent reason contributing to low voter turnouts,” the poll panel said during the presentation.
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Discussing remote voting, especially for migrant voters, with the panel, the EC said it entails a host of legal, statutory, administrative and technological interventions on a spectrum of issues, requiring wider consultations with all stakeholders.
Describing remote voting as a ”matter of importance”, the poll watchdog said it is actively deliberating on the matter.
”It is important that any system of remote voting has to take into account the confidence and acceptability of all stakeholders of the electoral system — voters, political parties and election machinery,” the EC said.
The poll panel said in its view, the technology for remote voting should be standalone like electronic voting machines (EVMs) and should not be connected to any network in any form to rule out any transmitting data.
Accordingly, the EC said it is working with a committee of technical experts, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Bharat Electronics Limited.