Parties favour EVMs in local body polls

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An all-party meeting convened by the State Election Commission here on Monday requested the State government to implement a proposal to use electronic voting machines and make electoral rolls with photos compulsory in the local body elections.

State Election Commissioner K. Sasidharan Nair, who addressed the meeting, said the commission would have to spend Rs.35 crore for securing specially-designed multi-post voting machines for the elections to the three-tier panchayats.

Ward-wise poll rolls

The State Election Commission had started ward-wise restructuring of the electoral rolls prepared by the Central Election Commission and support of the State government was imperative for completing the process.

The commissioner said slips issued by booth-level officers would not be used for identifying voters. The commission would clear the doubts about the document to be used for identifying the voters, he said. Leaders of various parties said use of the EVMs and electoral rolls with photographs had considerably reduced complaints of malpractices in the Lok Sabha elections.

They generally approved provisions of the draft Anti-Defacement Bill prepared by the commission. The meeting proposed to take stringent action against vandalising of signboards and public places.

Steps should be taken against using billboards of service organisations of employees of government and public sector undertakings for election campaigning. The proposed Bill should have provisions to restrict service organisations from putting up boards even after the elections, it was felt.

The suggestions at the meeting would be included in the draft Bill and submitted to the government.

Representatives of national and State parties as well as those having representation in the Assembly attended the meeting.

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