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Maharashtra State Election Commission Moving Forward with Innovative ICT solutions

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The Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) has taken many important steps to bring efficiency and transparency in its systems through the use of cutting edge ICT systems. The SEC has developed plans for an interactive website, which is bilingual and is available in English and Marathi

The Maharashtra State Election Commission (SEC) website provides details of all the activities of SEC, its Acts & Rules; it has links to all LB/ULB election websites. It also offers a glimpse of all the ongoing election programmes, important information, telephone directory, past statistics, RTI, training material, forms, downloads, contacts and much else. In addition to the information that is already available, separate web pages have also been developed for all the LB/ULB election programmes.

Information by website and SMS

Another important step taken by the Maharashtra SEC is the innovative E-yadi System, which is web based software for preparation of voter list. The software takes the base data and facilitates the creation of a database for LB (Local body) or ULB (Urban Local Body) elections with pre-entered ward details. The software is so efficient that it can allow voters the convenience of searching the SEC website for relevant information. Voters can also demand response through SMS.

Voters can SMS their surname, name, middle-name to the prescribed short code, in a designated format and they will automatically receive a SMS containing the Voter’s Full Name, Sr. No, Gender, Age and Polling Station. For different elections, the voter will have to use separate keywords, the list of which has been provided at the website.

Enhanced security

For managing the aspect of security, different levels of operations have been incorporated into the system. The Surveyor / Computer Operator is allowed to browse and upload control charts at various stages. There is the Ward Officer, who verifies the control charts and can edit control charts at various stages. There is the Assistant Municipal Commissioner, who can print control charts for verification, monitoring of his jurisdiction. The Deputy Municipal Commissioner will monitor his jurisdiction. The Municipal Commissioner is responsible for printing of control charts for verification, monitoring of entire e-Yadi process.

In the history of LB/ULB elections the e-Yadi is a pioneering system. It will be used by government officials and employees, who may not be conversant with technology, at various levels. So some elementary introduction into technology is necessary for the system to be fully effective. In corporations, the area is vast and at times it has been found to the difficult to have control on the staff working on the ground. At times the staff proves to be vulnerable to political interventions.

With the usage of e-Yadi system, the commissioner can actually conduct enterprise checks up to the ground level staff leading to more efficiency in the election process. As updated information is available in a seamless and transparent manner, there is scope for much greater transparency. All the information regarding e-Yadi is available with just a click and the elections become a rather controlled and efficient phenomenon.

New domains

When it comes to municipal elections, separate websites have been created for different corporations. So you have websites like – www.pcmcelection.com (in 2007), www.nmmcelection.com (in 2010), www.kdmcelection.org (in 2010), and www.kmcelection.org (in 2010). Each website has basic voter list information, ward information, important telephone numbers, and much else. 25 domain names have been booked for municipal corporation elections. 200 domains are set to be booked for separate website each for municipal councils. 35 domain names are being booked for Zila Parishads.

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