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வியாழன், பிப்ரவரி 24, 2011

Cuddalore polling booths monitoring to go hi-tech


PREPARATORY: Collector P. Seetharaman addressing the consultative meeting of Principals and faculty members of educational institutions on poll preparedness in Cuddalore on Wednesday.



CUDDALORE: 

            For the first time, the monitoring mechanism in the Assembly elections in Cuddalore district will go hi-tech, as the entire voting proceedings in the sensitive and hypersensitive polling stations will be monitored online.

           This will be done through web-camera-fitted laptops that will act as a “third eye,” according to P.Seetharaman, District Collector. In this endeavour, the expertise of Annamalai University, leading engineering colleges and government arts colleges would be utilised. The Collector told TheHindu that it was also proposed to deploy engineering students and arts college students with B.C.A and B.Sc (Computer Science) qualifications to operate the laptops with the concurrence of the Election Commission.

              After addressing a consultative meeting of the faculty, heads of departments and Principals on the poll preparedness here on Wednesday, the Collector said that the web cameras would be placed at a commanding position inside the polling stations, without affecting the secrecy of polling, to keep a tab on the activities of the voters, officials and the booth agents of political parties on the laptop screen. Moreover, the entire proceedings would be recorded in compact discs for future verification and reference. The laptops would also enable real-time transmission of the happenings in the polling stations through the Internet to the offices of the Chief Electoral Officer in Chennai and the Election Commission in New Delhi.

          Such a measure would help the polling officials swing into action wherever warranted. About 400-450 laptops in the possession of the Education Department would be put to use for the purpose. The Collector said that in the previous elections only limited footage was taken through videography at the polling stations but the laptop would provide a blow-by-blow account of the day-long polling process.

            It was termed as a “third-eye” because the security personnel and the videography would act as the other two monitoring mechanisms. It was hoped that such an arrangement would prevent malpractices, besides enabling the officials to track the wrong-doers and ensure free and fair elections.

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