West Bengal Assembly elections | ECI booth app likely to be used in polls to root out bogus voters, prevent duplication

The Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to use its booth mobile application in a full-fledged manner during the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal to root out bogus electors, prevent duplication of voting and quickly bring out details of the polling process, an official said on February 9.

If introduced, West Bengal will be the first State to use the application in a full-fledged manner during an election process.

“It’s in the planning stage. Nothing has been finalised yet. We hope this will help us conduct free and fair polls,” the ECI official said.

The official said that the application is connected to the central ECI server and transmits data in an encrypted manner.

“It gives information on gender-wise and age-wise polling, speed of the polling process and other election- related events,” he said.

“There will encrypted QR codes on photo voters slips, which will be scanned before allowing the voter to enter the booth. The codes will be scanned for the second time before voters exercise their franchise.

“The moment the voter casts his/her vote, the data will get transmitted to the ECI server, enabling the returning officer to view information on real-time voter turnout and other poll-related events,” the official said.

The system will not only speed up the polling process but also ensure correct entries, he said.

“The booth application, capable of auto-detecting duplicate entries, will alert the polling official with a loud sound on his/her mobile phone,” the official said.

The application was pilot launched in five polling stations in Uttar Pradesh, three in Maharashtra, Bihar and Punjab and then in 10 seats in Jharkhand in November 2019.

Elections to the 294-member West Bengal Assembly are due in April-May.

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