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On Saturday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) demonstrated the working of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Vote
Polls opened in Iran on Friday with voters set to give their verdict on President Hassan Rouhani's policy of opening up to
Welcoming the demand of implementing Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), th
Around 46 per cent of the electorate exercised their franchise till 4 PM today in elections to all the three municipal cor
The byelections to Ater Assembly seat in Bhind district and Bandhavgarh (ST) constituency in Umaria district in Madhya Pra
Pakistan's Election Commission is wary of a complete switchover from the existing paper ballot system to the Electronic Vo
The electronic voting machines are "fully tamper-proof, as ever", the Election Commission said today dismissing claims of
Taking a cue from BSP supremo Mayawati, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has expressed reservations about electronic v
The Election Commission has ordered repolling in one of the booths of Lohaghat Assembly seat in Uttarakhand where EVMs mal
Goa has come out on the top when it comes to voters pressing the NOTA button in the latest around of assembly polls, close
Rajeev P.I. in the Indian Express
Arguments may go on if a coercive vote is the way to a real democracy. But this move also has some special implications for Gujarat. Especially alongwith the samras (Gujarati for “consensus”) idea being systemically ramroded into the lower, panchayat, level. This one is a state-sponsored, cash incentives-tagged, push in exactly the opposite way. The idea is to avert “unnecessary” holding of all elections, the unneeded poll-spend, the even more unnecessary political differences — all with an often enforced local “consensus”, for a “harmonious” village life.
...the paradox of the must-vote Bill and the samras may remain a conundrum. But if the stick is used for one, it is the carrot for the other...
...There have been many reports of armtwisting and even threats to get all development work stalled, when a villager or two had wanted to contest.
...is that it criminalises non-voting, argues Pratap Bhanu Mehta in the Indian Express:
Whatever one’s views on the duty and right to vote, there is something deeply problematic about punishing non-voting. On merely practical grounds it is likely to give the state immense powers of harassment. It is a deeply democratic value to worry about state intrusion in our lives. One is not reassured by the fact that Gujarat government officials have been quoted as saying that one of the penalties under discussion is denying BPL cards to those who do not vote. Not having prescribed punishment as part of the legislation but making that part of the rules is itself an odd interpretation of democracy. It is not an accident that most of the countries that have compulsory voting have to desist from enforcing penalties. It will also be interesting to see how lists for local government elections are created and used. One unintended consequence of this drive may be to reduce the incentives to have your name included in a voting list.
Also See: A 'Disciplined' Democracy?