Google ties up with Election Commission for voters’ registration

The Election Commission of India (EC) has tied-up with US-based internet heavyweight, Google, to assist it manage online voter registration and facilitation services ahead of the India’s General Election 2014. Google will provide EC its resources, including its search engine, to facilitate voters to check their enrolment status online and locate their polling station, complete with directions using Google Maps.  In this exercise, Google will put its global network and resources at the EC’s disposal until June 2014 to help it manage online registration of new voters and enable the enrolled ones to check the address at which they are registered, and get directions to the polling station. With the new rolls with reference to January 1, 2014, slated to be out by January 6, 2014, the voters’ queries on the Commission website are expected to be managed by Google for the next 6 months.

How much would Google charge for these services?

Zero. Google will not charge the EC for these services, estimated to cost $50,000 (over Rs 30 lakh), and fund the same from its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) budget.

How would Google’s services to EC help voters?

The EC intends to use Google’s technological expertise to manage online enrolment of voters and help voters search their name in electoral rolls along with the polling station. If any voter wants to know about his enrolment and poll station, he will only have to type his/her name/EPIC no and address on the Google Search engine, which will quickly generate results matching the voters’ name with his assembly/Lok Sabha constituency, and pinpointing the location of his polling station. Besides, Google Maps will show exact directions to the voter on how to reach the right polling station on the polling day.

EC is also considering the option of using the global network and servers of Google for airing of results for the 2014 general election expected to be held in May 2014. In the recently held Assembly Polls in the five states also, EC had joined hands with US-based IT company Akamai for putting out results.

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