EC panel yet to submit report on recent polls

The core committee formed by the Election Commission in May to identify any shortcomings during the recently held Assembly elections and give suggestions for future polls was yet to submit its report to the EC as on Tuesday, according to officials.

The EC had announced the formation of the panel on May 13 and said “the Core Committee has been asked to submit its report within a month”. Officials confirmed to The Hindu that the report was yet to be submitted, with one official saying it was being worked on.

The panel, headed by EC Secretary General Umesh Sinha, was tasked with looking into the learning experiences and shortcomings of the Assam, West Bengal, Puducherry, Kerala and Tamil Nadu Assembly polls.

Meanwhile, the EC held a virtual conference of all Chief Electoral Officers on Tuesday. Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra told the CEOs that the best practices and lessons learnt from the Assembly elections should be shared in the interest of future polls. Mr. Chandra said CEOs should make efforts throughout the year to engage with new voters and provide services like corrections and change of address for existing voters.

Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said the CEOs should give suggestions for scaling up or integrating their best practices, like mobile apps for absentee voters, publishing criminal antecedents and randomisation of polling and police personnel.

“Mr. Kumar also said that CEOs should send their suggestions and ideas for new reforms to be taken up in the identified verticals being examined by the Core Committee,” an EC statement read.

Newly appointed Election Commissioner Anup Chandra Pandey said the non-election period should be used by CEOs to consolidate and fill gaps of infrastructure and human resources, plan awareness activities and increase training and capacity-building.

“During the conference, CEOs of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal shared their experiences and lessons from conducting elections during the pandemic. The CEOs of Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh briefed the Commission about various challenges, innovations and suggestions for upcoming Assembly elections in their respective States,” the EC said.

The EC also launched the ‘Atlas on General Elections 2019’, which includes all data regarding the Lok Sabha elections. The atlas included information on 23 States and Union Territories where turnout of women voters was more than that of men.

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