NEC: IT plays important role in Indian parliamentary election

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The National Election Commission (NEC) recently joined an online international election observation programme with more than 40 other countries. NEC

The National Election Committee (NEC) on November 12 highlighted the role of information technology (IT) in elections after observing an online parliamentary election in the Bihar state of India from November 5-7.

NEC spokesman Dim Sovannarom told The Post that observing the election was an opportunity to learn about good election practices and the use of IT.

He said having attentively observed the three-day online election from Cambodia, the NEC was of the view that IT played an important role in the electoral process in India. He said almost all stages of the electoral process had been equipped with information and communications technology (ICT) with a Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation Programme (SVEEP).

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) were used for the election as 73 million voters cast their ballots in a short time with little risk of voter fraud.

He said EVMs were tested before the election and recognised by political party observers who were present at the electoral offices.

It is the first time the NEC had the opportunity to observe an election online. It recently joined an online international election observation programme with more than 40 other countries.

Korng Savang, the senior observer of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel), said each country has different ways of managing elections and NEC should learn from various countries. The organisation of a multi-party liberal democracy election was important, he said.

“NEC should learn more about the positives while they experience elections held amid a pandemic. While it is impossible to know whether such an online election is flawed or not, it is okay to gain experience from the observation,” he said.

He said the good experience can be applied to elections in Cambodia in the future.

The NEC said Bihar has 243 assembly constituencies, of which 71 seats went to the polls on October 28, 94 went on November 3 and 78 on November 7.

The outcome of the election in the state was announced after the ballots had been counted by the National Election Committee of India on November 10. The results showed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had received most of the seats in the Bihar Legislative Assembly.