EC urges govt to manage e-voting machines for upcoming polls

NL Today

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Kathmandu: The Election Commission (EC) has urged the government to make necessary arrangements for the use of electronic voting machines in the upcoming House of Representatives (HoR) and Province Assembly (PA) elections.

According to the EC, it wrote to the Council of Ministers seeking its role to make arrangements for electronic voting. The urge follows the report of a committee formed to study the possibility of the use of voting machines and their management in the election.  It is also in line with the provisions in the relevant laws to make the election procedures smart, secure and impartial.

The EC in a press statement on Thursday said it seems the management of an electronic voting machine manufactured within home was not possible for the upcoming polls citing various reasons, and sought the government’s facilitating role to manage the import of machines by upcoming mid-July.

The study committee coordinated by joint-secretary at the Minister of Communications and Information Technology recommended the formation of a technical committee consisting of university teachers, civil service employees and independent experts for the specification, quality check and reliability of the machines and to respond to possible public queries in its regard. It has also advised to learn experiences from the countries already implementing the electronic voting successfully, and ensure the use of a standard machine in the electoral procedures.

As per the legal provisions, electronic voting can be implemented in the elections of the President, Vice President, members of the Federal Parliament and Province Assembly and local level elections. 

The EC had successfully practiced electronic voting in six constituencies during the 2008 Constituent Assembly election and in five constituencies in Bardiya, Baglung, Kathmandu, and Kailali during the 2013 CA by-elections.