Chandigarh: The Punjab State Election Commission is likely to conduct Panchayat election on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). The Commission could not able to find required ballot boxes for election. The Commission has sought help from neighbouring states, but the outdated ballot boxes are in poor condition, which are not useful. The electoral officers has been asked try to prepare old rust boxes by oiling as well as the process of discussion has been initiated to conduct the election with EVMs. Suggestions have been sought from all the Deputy Commissioners cum District electoral Officers and numbers of DEOs have given their response in favour of EVMs.The Panchayat elections are to be conducted in September. Panchayat Samitis and Zila Prishad election on September 10 and Panchayat election on September 30. To conduct the rural election through EVMs, a case is pending before the High Court. It was the logic of the Government that 10 members or above are to be elected in each and every Panchayat and if five candidates file nomination for each post, how will it be possible to fix 50 names on the EVMs. But rejected votes due to technical mistakes in manual voting often lead to uproar in rural election, while the staffs, which are to be deputed in the election, especially teachers have raised their objections against holding of election through ballot boxes. Although the process to make new votes are going till July 27 and the numbers of booths will be declared after it, but according to last rural election, there were 19,000 booths for 81,412 wards of 13,040 villages across the State. Two ballot boxes required for each booth, which mean 38,000 big and small ballot boxes, are required. After the introduction of EVMs and later VVPAT, these boxes were futile and meaningless, which were later handed over to the States for holding local elections. But less use led to rust of these boxes. According to office of Roop Nagar, 450 boxes are not fit for election out of 1650 boxes. Mansa district has also 700 boxes, which are not in condition of use. Rajasthan has agreed to provide ballot boxes but with condition, while other states have same condition. Officer in the Election Commission told that to collect the required boxes is an uphill task. While if the election are to be conducted through EVMs only 1, 27 lacs machines are to be required , which will save time and unwanted tussle between looser and election conduction staff.
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