Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Awareness workshop on MCC held; Deptts. urged to ensure availability of AMF in polling stations

Port Blair, Mar. 20: A workshop was conducted by Election Department of the A & N Administration on March 18, 2019 to create awareness among the Govt. employees about the implementation of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and functioning, usage and advantage of polling through Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)/ Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT). Shri K R Meena, Chief Electoral Officer, A&N Islands in his opening remark informed the Head of Departments (HoDs) of all Central/ State Government, that EVM/ VVPAT, which are used by the Election Commission, are not only user friendly but also reliable, credible and authenticate machines, which provide ease, comfort and accurate voting by the electors. It was emphasized that the EVMs/ VVPATs are manufactured by the two reputed Central Govt. undertakings and the software of EVM/ VVPAT are scrutinised by the independent Technical Expert Committee before handing over the machines to States/UTs for election. The EVM work as a standalone machine not connected with any network. The machines operate with one time programmable chip, which is neither computer control nor connected to internet. Moreover, the programme used in the EVM is one time programmable chip, which cannot be altered or tampered with.
It was also informed that there are several administrative safeguards which make its operation fair and transparent. The EVMs are closely monitored by political parties and their representatives during the First Level Checking, candidates setting, on the day of poll and counting. The entire process is also videographed and signature of representatives of political parties/their representatives are being taken each time before assigning the EVM/VVPAT to Strong Room. The Commission has also provided opportunity to the representatives of political parties and their representatives to sign the seal of Strong Room and also watch and ward polled EVM stored in the Strong Room.
The CEO also requested all the HoDs to observe MCC and obtain clearance of the Commission through a Committee headed by Chief Secretary, if needed. He also requested to all the Departments to extend help and cooperation to provide Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) in the polling stations so that voting became a festive and memorable experience to the voters. He requested all the HoDs to ensure casting of vote on the day of poll and also motivate and encourage all the officials working under them and their family members to cast vote on the day of poll.
The Chief Secretary assured all help and cooperation to the UT election machinery during the election. He also acknowledged hard work being done by the election machinery in the UT. During the workshop, a demonstration of functioning of EVMs/VVPATs were also given in which CS, PCCF and DGP along with other HoDs participated. A presentation was also made by the Returning Officer, Shri Udit Prakash Rai on functioning, use and advantage of EVM/VVPAT. Shri Yash Choudhary, Nodal Officer (MCC) also made a presentation on implementation of MCC.

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