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Lengthy form deters voters from e-voting in Gujarat civic polls

Wednesday, 1 September 2010 - 9:21am IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: dna

Even after deadline was extended twice, only 274 opted for e-voting and 88 for online voting.

It was chief minister Narendra Modi's pet project, but the final figures for e-voting and online voting registration in the upcoming Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections suggest that the citizens have not warmed up to the idea.

Even after the deadline to enroll for e-voting and online voting was extended twice, Amdavadis have given thumbs down to the concept with only 274 people coming forward to register under e-voting (from e-booths) and 88 people opting for online voting (from home).

The AMC officials who were working overtime to promote e-voting are certainly disappointed over the fact that the project has not generated much response. All they are waiting for now is the next directive from the state election commission.

"Despite major efforts and a campaign to promote e-voting and online voting, citizens have rejected the idea. The feedback suggests that they found the form filling too lengthy as it demanded minute details. It may have been a time consuming effort but the minute details were needed to verify the identity and avoid hacking among others," said a senior AMC official.

The state government had chosen Ahmedabad's Bodakdev ward as a pilot project to conduct online voting where voters can cast their vote from home.

Bodakdev ward was chosen as the data available with the AMC showed that the ward has maximum number of highly educated people and internet connections at home.

However, of the around 6000 residents of the ward that the AMC officials approached, only 88 voters have shown interest in online voting.

To promote online voting, the AMC had formed a 20 members committee to visit the residents and deliver forms at their doorstep to reduce the hassles for them.

But this too did not encourage them to take up online voting. The AMC had also printed pamphlets and partnered with radio station to promote the concept. This also included mock polls exercise from the state election commission and the AMC to educate people about the procedure for e-voting.

Around 514 people had come for the mock poll.

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