In the upcoming election season, the residents of Chandigarh may not be greeted by surprise rush at polling stations. A special app is being developed to help them assess the numbers of voters standing in queues at booths and available time slots to minimise waiting times.
According to a report in Indian Express, the state election commission (SEC) has been working on adding this new feature to the ‘Nigam Chunav Chandigarh’. A senior SEC official was quoted as saying that the need of feature arose in the view of the increasing cases of Covid and the new variant.
“We were instructed to ensure social distancing. Our IT experts are working to make this feature available soon. There are apprehensions that due to Covid, voters might not turn up. We want to provide maximum facility to the voters,” the official said. In the last two consecutive municipal corporation elections, the voter turnout was recorded at around 59 per cent, the report stated.
The municipal elections this year will be held on December 24, which falls at the start of a long winter vacation. This has added to the concern that the voting percentage might go down.
A report in Hindustan Times stated that political parties are particularly worried that city residents might opt out of voting and instead go for outstation travel during the holidays.
“In previous elections, the polling day was generally a Sunday, well before start of winter holidays. So, we have to see how people respond to the changed situation this time around,” said a senior BJP leader was quoted. Considering the likely trend, the SEC had roped in popular personalities to motivate people to vote.
Meanwhile, for the first time, the SEC has hired three additional expenditure observers from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to calculate the submitted expenditure expenses of political parties and independent candidates in the civic body polls. Once the elections are over, the observers will submit their findings to the SEC within 15 days.
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