The robust electoral machinery and the processes in India have ably been aided and strengthened by technology. The use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) was a major push to use of technology in the Indian elections, entirely disrupting the way the elections were conducted. It was not just the replacement of sturdy ballot boxes and ballot papers but a paradigm shift for everyone including the political parties, candidates and the voters.
Technological intervention has made other logistical arrangements relating to the conduct of elections easier. As lakh of vehicles are used for ferrying men and materials across the regions, movement of security forces from far off places used to be a nightmarish experience for vehicle owners. For years together, hundreds of court cases relating to payment of hiring charges have been contested without any resolution to the satisfaction of all the parties. With the introduction of a centralized monitoring system through a portal with a GPS facility, vehicle management has become far easier.
Various permissions are sought by candidates and political parties for rallies, meetings etc. during the period model code of conduct is in force. The complaints of partiality and political partisanship in granting such permissions have been made absolutely transparent with introduction of Sugam portal- another technological intervention. Another Portal called Samadhan is used to monitor the complaints received from different quarters. Right from the complainant to the officials sitting in the Election Commission in Delhi, the action taken on every complaint is recorded and is visible to all the stakeholders.
Video conferencing is also used extensively by the Election Commission for monitoring of the entire election process. and taking innumerable meetings with the election machinery in the field through video conferencing. There is direct webcasting of the poll from the polling station on the day of poll, enabling anyone to watch all the activities at the polling station from anywhere in the country.
The Commission has introduced ‘Cvigil’ app recently which allows citizens to post their complaints directly. It lets you upload still photographs and videos. The app is in the public domain. This app is being extensively used in the current assembly elections for MP, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram elections. The app will go a long way instilling confidence in the fairness and transparency of the election process.