Home WORLD NEWS Why EVMs are not used for election of President and Vice-President

Why EVMs are not used for election of President and Vice-President

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NEW DELHI: Polling for the Presidential election will begin on Monday in

Parliament

, and respective state assemblies to elect India’s new President and Vice-President.

Droupadi Murmu of the NDA and Yashwant Sinha, backed by the opposition, are the two candidates in this Presidential election.

A polling booth has been setup inside the Parliament premises where 776 Members of Parliament will cast their votes.

It is interesting to note that the electronic voting machines, used in Lok Sabha and assembly elections will not be deployed today, and instead ballot papers will be used and here’s why:

Single transferable vote system

The election of the President is held in accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote.

In accordance with the system of proportional representation by means of single transferable vote, every elector can mark as many preferences, as there are candidates contesting the election.

These preferences for the candidates are to be marked by the elector, by placing the figures 1,2,3, 4, 5 and so on, against the names of the candidates, in the order of preference, in the space provided in column 2 of the ballot paper.

Proportional representation vote system

The EVM is an aggregator of votes and under the system of proportional representation, the machine will have to compute votes based on preference and uses an altogether different technology.

Voters press the button against the name of the candidate of their choice and the one who bags the maximum number of votes is declared elected.

Brief history of EVMs

According to the August, 2021 issue of ‘My Vote Matters’, a quarterly magazine of the Election Commission, since 2004, EVMs have been used in four Lok Sabha and 127 assembly elections.

According to the EC website, first conceived in 1977 in the Election Commission, the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd. (ECIL), Hyderabad was assigned the task to design and develop EVMs.

In 1979 a prototype was developed, which was demonstrated by the Election Commission before the representatives of political parties on August 6, 1980. The Bharat Electronic Ltd (BEL), Bengaluru, another public-sector undertaking, was co-opted along with ECIL to manufacture EVMs once a broad consensus was reached on its introduction.

The machines were first used in the assembly election in Kerala in May, 1982.

Subsequently, in 1989, Parliament amended the Representation of the People Act, 1951 to create a provision for the use of EVMs in elections.

In the assembly elections held in May 2001 in the states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala,

Puducherry

and West Bengal, the EVMs were used in all the assembly constituencies.

Since then, for every state assembly election, the Commission has used the EVMs.

In the 2004 Lok Sabha polls, more than 10 lakh EVMs were used in all 543 parliamentary constituencies of the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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