It is a good thing that the Election Commission has considered the questions raised by the opposition parties and has avoided the use of Remote Voting Machines.
The Election Commission had prepared a concept note in December last year and sent it to around 60 recognized national and regional parties.
Very few of those parties have sent their response to the Commission. Most of the major parties have opposed the idea.
They feel that this specially designed machine is possible to be misused to facilitate migrant voters away from home to vote in their home area.
Anyway, many opposition parties have a big objection regarding the use of EVMs and they have told their apprehensions to the Election Commission on the basis of many very concrete evidences.
Leaving aside the questions being raised on EVMs for a while, even then there are many practical problems in the use of RVMs and the apprehensions of the opposition parties about its misuse are also not unfounded.
For remote voting, the Election Commission has designed a special machine, in which the ballot papers of more than one constituency will have to be uploaded in one machine and this work will be done by the election officer of each district.
For this the machine must be connected to the internet. That is, RVM will not be a standalone machine. It can be handled remotely.
The second problem is to set up polling booths in every city and motivate people to go there and vote.
The third problem is that how will the smaller parties and independent candidates appoint their polling agents in each city? Elections will not remain a equal playing field for them.
However, the Election Commission has not canceled the idea. Work is underway on its administrative, technical and legal aspects. The commission must definitely work on this as India is the country with the largest number of domestic migrants.
Crores of people go away from their homes for work and unable to participate in voting. About 300 million voters who are registered with the Election Commission do not vote.
This is a huge number. There will be some duplication in this number, yet the more of these people are allowed to participate in the voting, the better.
Along with this, the Election Commission should keep in mind that along with increasing the voting percentage, the purity of voting is also very important.