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  1. 1. Save Elections – Save Democracy Introducing electoral reforms to reduce the influence of money and muscle power in politics
  2. 2. How many of the “Voters” , even the politically aware, do really know of the competing candidates and their backgrounds ?? Can’t the common man be made partner to effectively intercept the malpractices?? Can’t the blooming technology beat the muscle power ?? Why won’t the unworthy win, when half the people who know the value of vote and unaffected by money and muscle, do not exercise their POWER ?? Thought Provoking Questions 0 20 40 60 80 100 1 2 3 4 5 6+ %ofwinnerswithnocriminal background No of candidates with criminal background Tainted Constituency Analysis  If voters have a choice, they prefer a clean and capable candidate  25% of the campaign expenditure of 2009 elections was used to directly buy votes through money and liquor  The voter turnout in 2009 elections is 58% and in urban areas it is struggling to reach 50%  There are records that some MP’s use their muscle power to tilt the voting count  In constituencies with only one tainted candidate, voters choose 83%(125/150) of the clean candidates.(i)  The percentage has gone down with increasing number of tainted candidates.
  3. 3. The Solution Building Awareness • Distribution of Brochures • Public Candidate Conference Controlling Electoral Frauds • Use of Advanced EVM’s • 24*7 Helpline Increasing Polling percentage • Universal Voting Centers • Effective Campaigning Creating & Managing Resources • 5-10% of expenditure • NGO Collaboration • More No. of Phases
  4. 4. Distribution of Brochures “Information matters” Information Brochures supplied to every voter. Brochure should contain the following details: Campaigning the same information orally in rural areas and areas with high illiteracy. Promotion of NGO’s regarding the campaigning of the information • Personal Details (Name, Age, Sex, Photo) • Financial Background and Assets • Agenda for the constituency • Previous service experience • Criminal Background • Education and occupation Candidate details: • Details of Candidate conference to be conducted • Electoral Fraud Activities and Punishments • Help Line • Promos to increase poll percentage Other Details:
  5. 5. Public Candidate ConferenceMandatoryPublicCandidate Conference Public conference of contesting candidates to be held under the supervision of EC Takes place in the presence of heads of local bodies (panchayats and municipalities), who represent the issues of general public Discussion of agendas and the plan of action of the issues by each candidate Disqualification of the candidate in the case of their absence The Partnership of local media will be sought to bring the proceedings into the public
  6. 6. Technology ki Aadhaar  Introduction of Advanced EVM s:  Merits of this system: – Elimination of rigging, proxy, double voting and other electoral malpractices. – Technically feasible and inexpensive Advanced EVMs with inbuilt fingerprint scanning technology to verify the identity of the voters simultaneously while they cast the vote. Vote does not get recorded in the case of mismatch of the fingerprint The database of voters (names and primary fingerprint) in the particular poling booth will be transferred to the local server maintained at the booth Can be monitored under video surveillance provided in controversial areas
  7. 7. Elimination of Note To Vote Action When By Function/Benefit Arrangement of 24 X 7 helpline From 2 weeks Before Election State EC body To receive complaints on electoral malpractices from citizens Arrangement of Quick Response Force (Local level) From 1 week before election Non- local police force Instant response to the complaints received via helpline Closing of Wine shops 3 Days before the election State EC Reduction in supply and distribution of alcohol during elections Encouragement of NGO’s and local College students Few months before elections Local activists and EC To make people aware of the electoral malpractices and the negative side of it
  8. 8. Increasing Voter Turnout  Universal Voting Centers (UVCs): – A facility to cast vote outside your home constituency. – Voters have to register (in person) the change before the polling date in the small registration centers maintained for 20-30 days at a number of places. – Some of the polling booths can be provided with extra equipment and designated as UVCs( with more of them set up in urban and semi urban areas) – The extra equipment may consists of special EVM with digital display of candidates and symbols, the data of the pre-registered voters and corresponding candidates.  Campaigning and promotion of the importance of vote through advertisement, brochures, celebrities, NGO’s and students  Encouraging the Employer to ensure voting by all their employees even in emergency sectors by balancing the work schedule accordingly.
  9. 9. ChallengesHuman Resources • The election procedure is to be conducted in more phases and over a long period(3- 4 months) to overcome the Human Resource and Equipment Deficit. • For maintaining the Quick Response Force, Police force from CRPF and other private security organizations can be utilized. • For dissemination of information and other campaigning needs, local NGOs’ official collaboration can be sought and can be encouraged by awards for best services. • Interested youth/volunteers (local) can be given training to spread the awareness and to inform any kind of malpractices. Financial • 5-10% of the campaign expenditure is levied as a fee on each candidate –which would be sufficient to conduct the public conferences and local campaigns, which in turn force them to reduce their expenditure. • The increased number of phases would facilitate the use of same equipment in all phases reducing the equipment cost. Technological • Servers: Local servers can be easily maintained and the results can be transferred to the central servers later after the completion of polling phase. • E- Data : For the finger print and other data of voters, data of UIDAI can be used. The whole process could be launched as a pilot project in 2014 in states like AP where the Aadhar process is close to completion
  10. 10. Impact of the Solution • The brochures and public discussions make people aware of the candidates who are worthy, irrespective of their wealth, popularity and association with large parties • Over the time, voter’s decision would rely more on these discussions rather than on the candidate’s traditional campaigning, thereby reducing its importance • This would force contestants to focus on problems of the constituency during these discussions thereby reducing the money factor • Effective use of the Quick response forces would curb money and liquor distribution enormously. • With the help of fingerprint verification and video surveillance, the incidences of usage of muscle power to tilt the count, or other malpractices can be effectively eliminated. • With the Universal Voting Centers, increasing voter turn out, especially in urban and semi- urban areas, the overall effect of money and muscle on the results would be minimized
  11. 11. References * Loksabha Election Watch2009- Articles by ADR India * ACCHE CHUNO? Abhijit V. Banerjee, Selvan Kumar, Rohini Pande and Felix Su Published in the Hindustan Times, April 21, 2009 * * CRIMINALISATION OF POLITICS AND CONVICTIONAL DISQUALIFICATION S.N. Sharma* * BACKGROUND PAPER ON ELECTORAL REFORMS - LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT- MINISTRY OF LAW AND JUSTICE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA *, turnout-factors.html, * voter turnout-a-reality-for-big-indian-cities/230915-37- 170.html * assembly-polls-polling-day * Fingerprint Identification - Overview and Implementation - Computer Security Division Information Technology Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology * gistrar.pdf