It may be time to bid goodbye to the cumbersome procedure of sending out written or printed slips to voters informing them of their polling station and poll booth number. An Android application now enables candidates to send SMSes and e-mails to voters in their wards or constituencies,giving details of their polling booth,room number etc,and making it easier for them to go out and vote.
The application,iElection,which can be bought from the Android market,has been developed by Shailesh Deshpande,founder-director of Pune-based Intellection Software and Technologies Private Limited and his team of 10 developers. Till recently,political workers used to physically sort names and send these slips to voters. The iElection is a faster and easier option for both the candidates and the voters. Also,it can be used for any election held in India,provided the database is made available by the Election Commission, Deshpande said.
Any candidate who buys iElection gets a login ID and password according to the party he or she belongs to. It also comes with a database of voters in that candidates ward or constituency,which is acquired from the local municipal corporation and the Election Commission. As a voters name is put in,his or her polling station,room number and poll booth number reflects on the screen. The user can then send the information by SMS to that voter. A family option is also provided,where the application gives a list of family members staying at a particular address to whom the SMS can be sent in one go.
The application has been developed for tablets using Android version 2.2 and above.
According to Deshpande,they faced two technical challenges while developing the application ensuring a certain speed for search with a database of about 50,000 names and addresses (voters per ward or constituency) on Android and downloading data from the server on the clients device. The team took eight to 10 months to develop this application and test it on a tablet. It can also be used on Aakash the worlds cheapest tablet manufactured in India claimed Deshpande.
We chose to develop the application for Android as it is more affordable than the iPhone or the iPad, Deshpande said. The application is also available for desktops.
Deshpande pointed out that at just 40 per cent,Pune saw its worst ever turnout in the last Lok Sabha elections. A major reason for the low turnout was that many were unable to find their name on the list or the names were simply missing. This application is likely to bridge the gap between the information needed by voters and what is made available by the Election Commission, he said.