Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora is hopeful that the ‘remote voting’ facility is likely to feature in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. Arora was speaking at the Sansad Ratna Awards – 2021 event in New Delhi on Saturday.
Arora informed that a team of experts from IIT Madras and other IITs are working together on the project and added, “We are hoping to see the first pilot project in the next two to three months.”
The CEC emphasized that the ‘remote facility is not aimed at voting via the internet or voting from home. Remote voting facility enables a voter who cannot reach the voting station for various reasons, to vote from a remote location. Arora informed that political parties will be consulted and, after the due deliberations on various options, the EC will shape the final version of the voting facility.
In the past few months, the Election Commission has proposed rolling out voting for Non-Resident Indian (NRI). This allows them to exercise their franchise by e-postal ballots. The EC is hoping that the NRI e-postal ballots facility would come to life within the next six months. Presently, NRIs can vote in the constituency in which their place of residence, as mentioned in the passport, is located.
Presently, the EC's focus is on the upcoming Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory – West Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora will be retiring next month.