After one-day cricket, come one-day polls in Goa

Saturday, February 5, 2011

PANAJI - For the first time in India, elections to a municipal corporation body will be virtually conducted on the lines of a one-day cricket match. Both voting as well as counting will be completed within a day, an official said.

To complete the effect, Goa’s Election Commissioner M. Modassir said the results would be announced on mega electronic screens throughout the capital Panaji, whose corporators go to polls in March vying for the 30 seats up for grabs.

“This is the first time in India that both voting as well as counting is being done on the same day in any kind of election, either civic, legislative or for parliament. The entire process, including the voting will take place from 8 a.m. and we expect to announce the results by 8 p.m.,” Modassir said.

More than 30,000 voters from the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) are expected to cast their votes in March.

Modassir said that the “one-day” election would not only save the state’s money, but would also ensure cutting down on logistics, which are put in place for the otherwise long drawn exercise.

“Polling would be held between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. With EVMs (Electronic Voting Machine), the counting takes only a few minutes. The machines will be shifted to the counting centre within an hour as the polling booths are not at far places,” district magistrate of north Goa Mihir Vardhan said.

“Only if there are exigencies like a re-poll or violence, will we not be able to keep to our one-day poll and counting exercise,” Vardhan said.

“Information of all the votes polled will be logged in a central server. With this poll monitoring system in place, we can automatically get two hourly updates of voting percentage at each of the 70 polling booths,” Vardhan said.

The collector also said that every voter would be photographed and finger printed at the polling booth. “According to our calculations, it will take an average of 40 seconds to cast each vote,” Vardhan said.

The state election commissioner added the results would be displayed on electronic screens in order to prevent large crowds from thronging the main counting centre.

“We will have screens at the main bus stand, market and the Miramar beach where people can watch the results,” he said.

Filed under: Politics

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