It seems that either the state election commission (SEC) is entirely unperturbed with the citizens' poor response to the newly-implemented e-voting, or it is simply trying to recover its investment by alternative means. The SEC, it seems, is considering selling the facilities installed for e-voting, in conducting elections of other organisations and institutions.
Speaking about the expenses incurred in setting up e-voting facilities, KC Kapoor, state election commissioner, said that this is a one-time expenditure which will continue to pay dividends in the future. Generally, one month after the election process is over, if no cases have been filed, the election data is disposed of as per the rules. Hence, the servers and other systems will be available for use at the next elections.
"However, we are also considering offering these e-voting facilities for the elections of other bodies and associations. For instance, the elections of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) can be carried out online with the system installed by the SEC," said Kapoor on Thursday. "Such bodies, which have an interest in organizing online e-voting, can approach us. While the thought is under consideration, we might charge these bodies an extra something for using the SEC's facilities," he said.
Speaking about future plans, the state election commissioner said, "We can provide facilities in the future, where it will be possible for a voter to vote all the way from Heathrow Airport, in the municipal elections of his city, through a cell phone."
The state election commission has organized another round of mock polling on September 14 in the state, for voters who wish to experience online voting. As this mock polling will be open to all voters in the state, those interested will have to register through email, with their name, address and mobile phone numbers, on email@example.com on or before September 11.