This election, JNU to have digital voting for the visually challenged

The visually challenged students on campus will now be able to cast their ballot with the help of an interactive system.

Written by Naveed Iqbal | New Delhi | Published: September 11, 2014 2:19 am

For the first time in over 40 years, the election committee has decided to introduce “digital voting” in the upcoming students’ union elections in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU).

The visually challenged students on campus will now be able to cast their ballot with the help of an interactive system.

Election Committee chairperson Dileep Kumar Maurya told Newsline that a computer will be placed inside polling booths to facilitate voting by visually challenged voters.

“The computers have an interactive software made by JNU students that will guide voters,” he said.

Another development this election is the introduction of the NOTA (none of the above) option, which will allow voters to not vote for any candidate. Earlier, the EC had introduced the “other” column in the nomination forms to accommodate the third gender.

Maurya said he hoped that the changes introduced in the voting process, along with the introduction of the digital system, would encourage more students to vote.

“The system has been tried successfully and we are hoping that this time, voting percentages will be higher,” he said.

In the last election 56 per cent students had voted and in 2012 the voter turnout was 57 per cent.

Maurya said the NOTA option had been introduced this year because several students refrained from voting due to a lack of choice. He said the EC wanted to ensure that such students also voted so that their dissent could be accounted for.

Meanwhile, the presidential debate, which is the highlight of the students’ union elections in JNU, is set to take place on Wednesday night. Seven presidential candidates will debate on several issues.

In all, there are 22 candidates in the fray for the four central panel seats — president, vice-president, general secretary and joint secretary.
The university goes to polls on
September 12.

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