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  • 18 January, 2023

  • 7 Min Read

Remote Voting for Migrants

Remote Voting for Migrants

  • A new Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM) that would enable domestic migrants to participate in local and national elections was recently proposed by ECI.

What is RVM?

  • A modified version of the current electronic voting machine (EVM) is known as an RVM.
  • India's proposed new voting method, the Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM), will enable domestic migrants to participate in national and local elections.
  • The Indian Election Commission is creating the RVM.
  • When elections are held in migrant workers' home states, special remote polling places are set up in other states.
  • From a single remote polling location, the RVM may manage several constituencies.
  • In terms of the voting process and security system, these are comparable to the current EVMs.
  • The RVM has been upgraded to have an electronic dynamic ballot display in place of a fixed sheet of the ballot paper, which will provide various candidate lists in accordance with the voter's constituency number as read by a constituency card reader.
  • A second monitor or digital public display unit to serve as an interface between the Ballet Unit's (BU) display and the constituency card reader.
  • The Returning Officers (ROs) of the voters' home constituencies will prepare the electronic ballot, which will then be sent to the remote RO for uploading in the Symbol Loading Unit (SLU).


  • To allow voters to confirm their ballots, the system would include a gadget akin to the.
  • On the day of the count, the units will save the number of votes cast for each candidate in each constituency.
  • The home Returning Officer (RO) would then be informed of the findings
  • Election supervision in one or more constituencies is the responsibility of a returning officer.

Why is Remote Voting Needed?

  • Over 91% of the country's eligible voters were registered for the general election of 2019, and 67% of them cast ballots—the highest voter turnout in the country's history.
  • However, it is concerning that a third of eligible voters—a staggering 30 crore people—do not cast a ballot.
  • Internal migration, which removed voters from their home constituencies, continued to be one of the factors contributing to lower voter turnout.
  • Voters had the option to have their names added to the electoral rolls of the constituency in which they typically reside, although many did so for a variety of reasons.

The direction of the Supreme Court:

  • The Supreme Court (SC) had instructed the EC to look at solutions for remote voting in 2015 after hearing a petition regarding the purported restriction of voting chances to migrants.

EVMs in India:

  • In India, national and regional elections are conducted using a voting system called electronic voting machines (EVMs).
  • The M3 model of EVMs, which has been in use since 2013, is the most recent model and has been used in India on a wider scale since 1992.
  • The Voter Verified Paper Trail Audit (VVPAT) machine was created as a result of various political parties approaching the ECI in 2010 to create a mechanism to ensure that EVMs accurately recorded votes. It has been in use since mid-2017.
  • The present EVM configuration includes a Balloting Unit (BU), which is situated inside the voting compartment and is connected to the VVPAT printer.
  • The Control Unit (CU), which sits with the Presiding Officer (PO) and tallies the votes cast, is connected to the VVPAT.
  • Once the voter clicks the key on the BU, the VVPAT prints a slip with the poll symbol and candidate name, which is visible to the voter for seven seconds before being dropped off in a box inside the VVPAT.

What worries and difficulties lie ahead?

  • The current VVPAT technology is not fully voter validated, therefore even though a voter may see their ballot for seven seconds as it passes through the glass, this does not constitute voter verification.
  • That would occur if the voter had the printout in their hands, could approve it before casting the ballot and had the option to cancel if there was a mistake.
  • Remote voting will encounter logistical and administrative difficulties in addition to machine-related issues. These include queries regarding the remote registration of voters, the removal of names from the home constituency electoral rolls, the transparency of remote voting applications, etc.

Way Forward

  • To address issues of accessibility and convenience for domestic migrants who might not be able to physically travel to their voting place, RVM is a tremendous step in the right direction.
  • If a voter is dissatisfied, they should have the power to cancel their vote, and the process must be easy and involve no contact from anyone.

Source: The New India Express

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