EC wants city cops to vote in polls,not just provide security

The last elections in Delhi saw a deployment of 55,000 personnel of the Delhi Police and 22 companies of central paramilitary forces.

Written by Geeta Gupta | New Delhi | Published: August 14, 2013 2:35 am

The last elections in Delhi saw a deployment of 55,000 personnel of the Delhi Police and 22 companies of central paramilitary forces. For the first time for the upcoming Assembly elections later this year,the Delhi Election Commission is seeking to bring Delhi Police personnel under the “democratic voting process”,having noted their “substantial role in maintaining law and order during the elections” but an otherwise “minuscule presence during the actual voting process”.

An average of only 2 per cent police personnel get a chance to vote; election duty during the course of conduct of the elections in the city keeps them from voting,busy as they are to ensure that the polls pass off peacefully.

In a first,the Delhi EC has now launched an online portal,and given usernames and passwords to the police department,as well as other government departments so that they can vote during the elections.

“We have given the departments time till the end of August. Once the police personnel fill in all their details,we will get to know their total strength and our system will verify how many are still not registered as voters. A campaign will then be launched in September to enroll these people and their families as voters. The aim is to ensure 100 per cent voter registration for police personnel and their participation in actual voting,” said Vijay Dev,the Chief Electoral Officer of Delhi.

While the Delhi EC aims to ensure full registration by organising camps at police lines,police camps,police colonies and training grounds,the actual voting would be ensured in two ways — postal ballot for personnel posted inter-constituency,and the Election Duty Certificate (EDC) for personnel posted intra-constituency.

The postal ballot has so far been used only by army personnel. Dev said the state EC would use it in a big way for police personnel in the coming elections.

“If an official is registered in one constituency and posted in another,he will make use of the postal ballot paper. In case the official is posted at a polling station in the same Assembly constituency where he is registered,he will be required to show his Election Duty Certificate,which will allow him to vote at any polling station within the constituency,” Dev said.

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