The Election Commission of India (ECI) has changed the categorisation of sensitive and very sensitive polling stations to critical and vulnerable for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Disclosing this to media persons at the DC’s conference hall here on Monday, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati said the ‘critical’ criteria would be determined by remoteness, low network coverage, earlier incidents of violence or clashes as was done for the sensitive and very sensitive.
Apart from these, another component would be taken into consideration, that is very high polling, 90 per cent and above and/or one candidate having received more than 75 per cent of the votes in the 2016 Assembly elections.
For the vulnerability nomenclature to apply, it would have to be ascertained that there was a community at risk of intimidation or threat from a larger group or community.
In Jorhat, 30 critical polling stations have been identified but no vulnerable ones.
Under the Jorhat Lok Sabha constituency, there are 10 Legislative Assembly constituencies spread over three districts Jorhat, Sivasagar and Charaideo.
The Deputy Commissioner is also the returning officer for the district.
Korati further said that this time, VVPATs (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) would be installed in all the polling stations.
In the 2016 elections, a few polling stations had the VVPAT facility.
In this facility, the voter has the right to apply for a revision if he or she suspects that the VVPAT does not show the candidate he or she has voted for.
However, if this is found to be false allegation, then the administration has a right to take legal action against that person, punishable up to six months in jail.
The voter can see the paper through a covered window in the machine for a few seconds before it drops down to the box below.
Korati further informed about the Android based app launched by the election commission which a person can use secretly to send geo-tagged videos and photos of illegal money being distributed or a hate speech being made during polls.
The unique Internet-based beta version of the application is called cVigil, which stands for “citizens’ vigil”.
The app which can be downloaded from Google play store will work only during the time the model code of conduct (MCC) is in place in the poll-bound state.
The app had been launched last year.
Ex-Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat had said during the launch that the poll panel was bringing out this tool as there had been instances when vested interests have misled surveillance teams and directed them to a place away from the scene of poll code violation.
Korati said that the GPS tagged smartphone through which the clipping or recording would be sent would be located and within 100 minutes the matter would have to be disposed off by the district election officer through flying squads or or other investigative teams and the complainant intimated.
In order to mobilise voters’, actor Geetawali Rajkumari has been selected as district election icon.
This time, college ambassadors would also be selected in major colleges to influence and mobilize young and first time voters to exercise their franchise.
Apart from these, Korati said that there would be 10 model polling stations with all amenities and two all women polling stations.
There would also be wheelchairs provided to the aged, infirm and handicapped by the administration in those polling stations where such people had been identified.