New Delhi: A move that would have added another layer of secrecy to the voting process in India has been nixed by a team of ministers headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
The ministers have decided not to allow the Election Commission to introduce Totaliser voting machines, which make it difficult to learn how an area voted by scrambling data from polling booths.
The Election Commission has been planning for over a decade to introduce the machines. The government, however, has been against it because it argues it will hamper polling booth management.
Before the EVMs or Electronic Voting Machines were introduced in the 1980s, ballot papers on which people cast their votes were jumbled up to ensure even more secrecy and make it difficult to detect a voting pattern.
With EVMs, it is easy to tell how people voted in a polling station, which helps politicians or their parties to identify where they got more votes and where they were rejected. This has often led to candidates neglecting development work in areas where they got least votes, say officials.
The totaliser helps connect all EVMs through a cable so votes from a constituency are registered and counted together.
The Election Commission had discussed introducing the Totaliser with all national parties and most accepted it.