Foreign delegates want India’s election technology

New Delhi, Dec 5: Delegates from eight countries from Africa and the Middle East, who witnessed the assembly elections in India, have sought India’s help in taking the electronic voting machine (EVM) technology to their countries.

Twenty-four delegates, including chief election commissioners, from South Sudan, Jordan, Gambia and Guinea Bissau and representatives from Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria and Senegal saw the polling process in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.

In Delhi, delegates visited two model polling stations and also tried their hand at mock polling using the EVMs with the newly-introduced paper trail system.

The visit was facilitated by the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

The Election Commission and UNDP have an agreement to jointly promote exchange of visits and sharing of experiences and skills in the field of electoral management.

“They were particularly impressed with the use of technology in these elections, particularly the use of EVMs and the use (on pilot basis) of the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), which they were able to see and try for themselves,” said an Election Commission official.

The official said many delegates expressed interest in transfer of EVM technology to their countries and also sought the Election Commission’s assistance in capacity building of their officials.

Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath expressed the Election Commission’s readiness to share the commission’s expertise and experience with more countries, under the aegis of the UNDP.