Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS)

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DR. Nasim Zaidi Urges all Stakeholders to Collaborate for Successful Roll out of Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System

ECI Successfully Conducts “ETPBS” in Puducherry’s Nellithope Assembly Constituency; to all 4 Service Voters, Postal Ballots were Transmitted Electronically
Dr. Nasim Zaidi, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) urged all stakeholders, including the Defence and the Home ministries to help Election Commission in  revising electoral rolls of service voters, so that more such personnel can exercise their democratic right. He was speaking at the seminar held on ‘Service Electors’ Registration & Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System’ ( ETPBS) organized here today by Election Commission of India.

Dr Zaidi said the electoral rolls relating to service voters is "not satisfactory" and "not updated".  He said out of nearly 25 lakh personnel of armed forces and central and state police organizations, some 14 lakh are service voters. Therefore, it is our collective duty and constitutional obligation to have every eligible service voter on our roll . Dr Zaidi further said   “all of us present here are on the same page i.e. no Service Voter to be left behind and every vote counts. All of us will work jointly and collaboratively to fulfil the dream and motto of ECI, “No voter to be left behind and Every vote counts”.
Dr. Zaidi informed that the "naysayers" who have raised concerns about the electronic postal ballot system are being addressed by the IT experts so that a fool-proof technology is in place. We are working with an open mind to improve the system, Dr Zaidi added.

Dr. Zaidi said he has written to External Affairs, Home and Defence Ministers requesting them to appoint nodal officers in their respective ministries so that they can regularly interact with the election machinery to help more and more service voters, posted at far off places, cast their vote through postal ballot.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Zaidi told that ECI and its team in collaboration with  Defence officers in Puducherry within few days of legal amendment ran pilot in recently held bye-election in Puducherry’s Nellithope Assembly Constituency. To all 4 Service Voters, Postal Ballots were transmitted electronically  and three valid Postal Ballots received back. One Service Voter had retired and in his case e-roll could not be updated. These voters will be the first ones probably amongst many continents to have received PB electronically. These voters and the entire team must be felicitated , Dr Zaidi added.
Regarding educating service voters,   Dr. Zaidi said that providing voter education is a very significant feature in election process and ECI will be providing awareness brochures and education materials for service personnel in various languages. We have planned to impart special training to all those people who are part of this process , the CEC added.

On the occasion, Dr. Zaidi also launched online registration for Indian Coast Guard , “ Tatrakshak Online Voters Enrolment System – TROVES”  and also inaugurated exhibition and released information booklets and documents on ETPBS.

Election Commissioners Shri Achal Kumar Jyoti and Shri Om Prakash Rawat, Dr. G.Naryana Raju, Secretary, Legislative Department, Shri K.Durga Prasad, DG- CRPF, Shri Krishna Chaudhary, DG- ITBP, Army's Adjutant General Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma, Senior Officials of Defence forces, Central Paramilitary Armed Forces, Ministry of External Affairs  and Chief Election Officers of several states also attended the day long seminar. The objective of the seminar is to show case the use of IT and Electronic transmission methods to all stakeholders and deliberate rolled out to ensure increased participation of the Service Voters in Election Process.

Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) was developed by Election Commission of India with the help of C-DAC, for the use of service voters. It is a fully secured system.
This system enables an entitled service voter to cast their vote using an electronically received postal ballot from anywhere outside their constituency. Electors/Service voter eligible for Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot may make a choice of casting their vote through this system. The voter who make such a choice will be entitled for Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot for a particular election.Postal Ballot for entitled voters will be uniform across all categories. It will be delivered in electronic data format to the entitled voter on a real-time basis.
Ministry of Law and Justice (Legislative Department) has notified necessary amendments in conduct of elections rules on 21st Oct, 2016, enabling deployment of Electronically transmitted Postal Ballot System.

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