Election Commission Current Affairs - 2019
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The Election Commission (EC) has constituted 14 member committee headed by Umesh Sinha to suggest changes to Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RP Act) in view of social media expansion.
Section 126 of RP Act, 1951 prohibits displaying any election matter by means of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. It does not include social and new media under its ambit.
Composition: The Committee will be headed by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha. It will comprise of 9 officers of EC, one nominated member each from Ministry of Law, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, IT Ministry, Press Council of India (PCI) and National Broadcasters Association (NBA).
Terms of Reference of the Committee
The committed will study impact of new media and social media during the “silence period” i.e. during 48 hours period prior to elections and its implication in view of Section 126 of RP Act, 1951. It will suggest modifications to the RP Act, 1951and model code of conduct (MCC). It will also examine difficulties faced in regulating media platforms during the prohibitory 48 hours in a multi-phase election It will submit its report within three months.
Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent.
It was announced by Election Commission of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state.
The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. As many as 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during election elections. Earlier, VVPATs were used on pilot basis in limited polling booths of state in 2012 elections.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
The VVPAT is a method that provides feedback to voters after they cast their votes in EVMs. It is independent verification printer machine attached to EVMs. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. Thus, ensure free and fair elections.
In the VVPAT system, when voter presses button for candidate of his choice in EVM, a paper slip containing serial number, name of candidate and poll symbol will be printed for voter. The paper slip will be only visible to voter from glass case in VVPAT for seven seconds, after that slip will be cut and dropped into drop box in VVPAT machine. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
Purpose of VVPAT
VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to (i) allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly, (ii) detect possible election fraud or malfunction and (iii) Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.