Uttarakhand voters will no longer have to travel far to cast their vote (Express)
For a while now, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Uttarakhand had been receiving complaints from several voters, often belonging to the same family, that despite staying in the same house, they had to go to two and three different polling booths during elections. In some cases, voters had shifted houses but they still had to go to a faraway polling booth come the election day.
Responding to these complaints, the CEO has resorted to the use of a mobile application to rationalise voters and polling booths accorded to them. The mobile application uses Geographic Information System (or GIS) mapping.
The move comes after a successful pilot run during September and October where the polling booths awarded to over a thousand voters were rationalised along the Rajpur Road assembly constituency in Dehradun. During this exercise, officials visited 8,000 voter households belonging to 10 polling booths. Staff members recorded the geographical coordinates of the voters' house using the Google Maps app in their mobile phones. They took down the coordinates along with voters’ details on a proforma.
“By checking these coordinates with Google application on the desktop, we went through the data of voters, households and polling booths there were assigned... A total of 1,009 such voters were rationalised and they were assigned to the nearest polling booth,” said Mastu Das, Assistant Chief Electoral Officer, Uttarakhand.
Das said that such an exercise will be done in 11,235 polling booths across the state very soon but that exercise will be using a new specific mobile application that will record accurate data in a more convenient manner. For that exercise, a mobile application is being developed with technical support of NIC that will automatically register the co-ordinates of a voter's house.