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 Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Board of the A-WEB

CEC Shri Rajiv Kumar chaired Extraordinary meeting of the Executive Board of the Association of World Election Bodies at Capetown, South Africa on 18th October,2022

Release of the latest edition of A-WEB India Journal of Elections

The Commission released the latest edition of A-WEB India Journal of Elections. It’s a prestigious international publication containing researched articles, papers & contributions from across the A-WEB community

International Webinar on Enhancing Electoral Participation

International Webinar on “Enhancing Electoral Participation of Women, PwDs & Senior Citizens: Sharing Best Practices & New Initiatives” 

International Webinar on Enhancing Electoral Participation

International Webinar on “Enhancing Electoral Participation of Women, PwDs & Senior Citizens: Sharing Best Practices & New Initiatives” 

IEVP 2021

ECI hosts International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IVEP) 2021 for Election Management Bodies (EMBs)/Organisations from 26 countries  and three International Organisations.

International Webinar

International Webinar on ‘Issues, Challenges and Protocols for Conducting Elections during COVID-19 : Sharing Country Experiences’ organised on 21st September 2020

IEVP 2020

ECI hosts International Election Visitors Programme 2020 for Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections  [05- 07 November 2020] 

India Chairs A-WEB

CEC, Sh Sunil Arora was elected as the new Chairman of Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) for the term 2019-21 as India took over the Chair from Romania at the 4th General Assembly of A-WEB

  • ECI IT Application

    • ECI
      Earlier candidates and political parties were informed about their candidature and permissions status only by way of paper. There was no online method for intimation and the candidate had to visit the office to get the details of their permissions. 
      Presently nomination and permission is filed through a web application namely ENCORE. To make it accessible for candidates so as to check the status and get the updates of his application, the android app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store called ‘Candidate App’.
      The link to download the application is https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=suvidha.eci.gov.in.candidateapp&hl=en_IN. This mobile app allows candidates to check the status of their nominations and permissions filed via ENCORE. 
      This application was launched by ECI on 13 March 2019.
      Functionality/ Features of the application
      Candidate App is used to track the nomination/ permission application status. Once the application is registered in ENCORE by the Returning Officer, the periodic status updates are available via notifications. 
      Process Flow
       User authentication through mobile number and OTP.  Track nomination/permission application status. Outcome of the application
      Candidates can now get the live status of submitted applications, candidates can check and track their submitted applications status using the mobile app which is very helpful in application processing.
      The application boosts the transparency initiatives of the ECI. The candidate gets to know on a real time basis whether  their application has been rejected or accepted. 
      In future, the candidate can fill in the nomination and receive permission directly from the mobile app. 

    • Before the latest infusion of technology, each permission required that Nodal Officers of various departments issue No-Objections, before the permission applied for  by the Political party / Candidate was accepted by the Returning Officer. The practice in vogue was to call all the nodal officers at one designated place and summarily issue the permissions. 
      Technology has now enabled an integrated app for election permissions. Once the permission is sought from the Returning Officer, then there is no need to seek individual No-Objection from various departments like Fire, Revenue, PWD, Police etc. With the launch of Nodal App, it is no longer binding for officials to sit at one place. All Nodal Officers are registered as part of the ENCORE and they receive notifications on the mobile app, as and when a request for permission arrives.  They can accept/reject permissions and upload their status by using the App. Nodal officers can automatically assign and get push notification as the permission is applied for. The Nodal App allows officers to take immediate action i.e. whether Objection or No- Objection is to be granted to the candidate along with reasons for the same. 
      This application was launched on 13 March 2019.
      Functionality/ Features of the application
      Nodal Officer will receive a push notification on each permission request. Nodal Officer has to reply within 24hrs and in case the same are not replied to then those permissions will be bypassed to a higher level implying that these can then be replied at RO, ARO, CEO or DEO level.
      Process Flow
      User authentication through mobile number and OTP. All new applications will be visible in the Open Tab. Take action (Objection/ No Objection). Node App login is based on OTP. All new applications will be visible in the Open section. Nodal officers have to take action (Objection/No Objection) within 24 hrs else that permission will display in overdue section.
      The outcome of the application
      This application has improved the efficiency of the Nodal and Returning Officers for granting permissions during elections. It has greatly reduced the time and clutter. 
      Secondly, it has provided mobility to Nodal Officers. By using the mobile app, they can transact all the work assigned to them. 
      A total number of 1,31,355 applications have been processed through the Nodal Mobile app.

    • Voter Turnout APPs

      By ECI, in Mobile Applications,

      The display of the voter turnout has been very limited and was only by way of press releases. The voters did not come to  know about the voter turnout on a real-time basis.
      Voter Turnout App made it easy for the users to view the real-time information about the estimated voter turnout on their mobile phones during the General Election 2019. Voter Turnout App is used to display real-time voter turnout details of each Assembly Constituency/ Parliamentary Constituency including the number of men, women and third gender. Not only citizens but the application can also be used by media houses to capture live voter turnout data.
      The Voter Turnout application allows citizens to access the cumulative voter turnout percentage overall as well as for each state separately. The app also allows the user to share the poll percentage with their contact via Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, and Whatsapp. The application was launched on 18 April 2019
      The application is available from google play store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.gov.eci.pollturnout&hl=en_IN
      The application is designed to show the Estimated Voter Turnout for each state which can be drilled down to District and Constituency level. 
      The information is displayed in real-time from the Voter Turnout ENCORE Server. There is no data entry provision in Voter Turnout App, as it is only meant for the dissemination of the estimated Voter turnout percentages. 
      The main features of the App are:
      Estimated Voter Turnout live poll percentage (Poll Day) Share poll percentage (Via Facebook, Twitter, What’s app, Gmail etc.) Filter Election type (to view Election wise, State-wise, District wise, Constituency wise) Outcome
      The application has been used extensively by the media and other users ever since it was launched. During the poll days this application was used by 2,08,602 users to view the turnout. A sharing option was introduced where a user can share turnout directly from the app to social media. 

    • Booth App

      By ECI, in Mobile Applications,

      The polling process requires manual search of the name of the electors from the book. The majority of the time in the polling station is spent on performing the search. Similarly, as per the Commission prescription, every 2 hour report needs to be sent regarding poll turnout. There are multiple errors due to incorrect entries and manual entries. Later on, there is a lot of hassle on reconciliation of the figures from EVM Votes to the voter turnout. 
      The Voters rarely get to know the queue at the polling station and young voters get dissuaded due to the long queue. 
      Booth App is an integrated app of the ENCORE application, which facilitates in faster identification of voters using encrypted QR code from the digital marked copy of the electors. This reduces the queue, helps in faster polling and allows error-free recording of two hourly poll turnout with minimal intervention.
      Booth App was piloted in Hamirpur (Uttar Pradesh) in 5 polling stations, 3 assembly constituencies (Samastipur, Kasba Peth and Phagwara) of the three states (Maharashtra, Bihar and Punjab) and thereafter launched in 10 ACs of Jharkhand in November 2019.
      The whole process consists of the creation of encrypted QR code which is printed in the Photo Voter Slips. The Citizens can alternatively download the digital photo voter slips from the Voter Helpline App. The voter presents with the QR coded slips at the reception of the polling centre. The Booth level officer scans the QR code and allows entry of the voters whose names are listed. Inside the Polling Station, the polling official again scans the QR code to verify the identity of the voter before allowing the voter to poll. Polling Official marks the entry of the voter inside the polling station using the booth app in the mobile phone. 
      The recorded entries are then transmitted back to the central server of the ECI. The returning Officer gets to view the information rich dashboard in a real-time voter turnout, events and incidences and various poll events. 
      On the other hand the Presiding Officer enters and records all the ancillary activities like dispatch details, mock poll, poll start and poll end. All types of incidents and events are also recorded from the mobile app. 
      The sector magistrate monitors the poll turnout in all his allocated Polling Stations and does the EVM replacement through the mobile app. He uses the reserve machines from his stock and replaces the deployed one due to malfunction/replacement requests. The website of the booth app is available here: https://boothapp.eci.gov.in

      Functionality/ Features of the application
      Fast electors search in the polling station using QR code Advance Queue information to Voters used Artificial Intelligence Real-time Voter turnout information to Voters and Officials Assist Polling Official in the detection of duplicate voting 
      Fast electors search 
      The Voters have distributed QR code-based Photo Voter slips. The voters present with QR code enabled slips at the Polling station. Alternatively, a Voter can carry a Digital Photo Voter slip for paperless entry. Without the use of the internet, the voter is searched from the mobile app. In case of absence of QR code-based Photo Voter slip, the voter is still identified through EPIC or Name search. 

      Authentic Identification
      Once the QR code is scanned, the mobile app correctly and instantly identifies the Voter and presents to him the coloured photograph along with the complete elector’s details. Marking attendance is instantly done through the booth app. The process is simplified and adds to the authenticity. In future, the Polling Official will not require to carry bulky paper documents containing the Voter list. 
      Advance Queue Information
      Using Artificial Intelligence and advanced mathematical models, the booth app calculates the queue at the polling station. This information is then pushed to the Voter Helpline Mobile app. The Voter using their mobile phone can check the current queue and plan their visit accordingly. 
      Real-time Voter turnout
      The booth app is configured to connect to the central ECI server in a minimalistic way and transmits the data in an encrypted manner. This helps in giving meaningful information about gender-wise polling, age-wise polling, speed of polling, traffic during the day and other poll-related events and incidences. This helps the Election officers in making the right decision at the right time. 
      No Duplicate Entries
      The Booth app auto-detects the duplicate entries and prevents repeat voters from entering the polling station. The Polling Official get a loud sound on his mobile phone. The duplicate voter cannot be allowed to be entered into the Polling station as booth app will not accept it. 
      Real-Time Event and Incidence
      The Presiding officer also uses the booth app to record poll incidences and events. The PRO can register any poll incidence like a riot, Fraudulent defacing, destroying or removal of the list of notice or other documents at the polling station, Natural calamity, Booth capturing, Failure of voting machine. The incidence reported by PRO is flashed to the Sector Magistrate, District Election officer as a red alarm. 
      EVM / VVPAT inventory Management
      The booth app has a module for sector magistrate who is responsible for carrying reserve EVM/ VVPAT machines. Upon reporting by the Presiding Officer through the booth app itself, the sector magistrate gets an alert and the inventory replacement are recorded on the app. This way the decision-makers get to know the statistical report and the reason for replacement instantly compiled on the dashboard. 
      Presiding Officer Diary
      From Voter turnout to incidences the PRO records all the data in the booth app to generate a digital PRO diary. PRO also receives the poll material and record in the app. He reports his arrival in the polling station through the app and also the poll start and end time. This minimises the paperwork, speeds up reporting mechanisms and provides assimilated reports in the dashboard to senior officers. 
      Real-time information of Polling party through GIS
      The polling party location is also tracked on the map view. This helps in correctly locating the polling parties. The Presiding officer is also tracked from the booth app and thus immediate intervention is provided. The sector magistrate location is also visualised on the GIS dashboard, thus in future the last mile information about reserve machines will be available for decision-makers. 

      Process Flow
      Booth Level Officer scans the QR code-based physical / digital photo voter slip at the entry gate Inside polling station, first polling official scans again and mark the attendance of voter You can now vote  Step 1: Presentation of Printed Booth Slip / Voter Helpline digital vault with QR CODE at Help desk (BLO)
      Step 2: Polling officials scan the QR code of Printed booth slip/Voter Helpline digital vault with QR CODE and verify the voter details through Booth App.
      All four types of users (BLO/PO/PRO/SM) use Booth App to Login, features of each user are listed below  
      BLO Booth App
      Login in Booth App using Mobile number and OTP (registered by RO in ENCORE) Perform Device compatibility check  Scan every voter who come to Polling Station (No skipping) Ensure data sync to server using view status screen Polling Official Booth App 
      Login in Booth App using Mobile number and OTP Perform Device compatibility check  Mock Poll activity Start Poll  Scan and identify the voter by matching the details and mark attendance  Ensure data sync to server using view status screen Poll End Presiding Officer Booth App
      Login in Booth App using Mobile number and OTP
      Perform Pre-Poll activity like Infra check 
      Report at Polling stations with GIS capture
      Feedback for Polling Stations 
      Entry PRO Diary 
      Report EVM malfunction and incidence 
      Sector Magistrate Booth App
      Login in Booth App using Mobile number and OTP
      Review received notification in App for EVM malfunction and interruptions.
      EVM replacement if required with reserve machines
      View Voter turnout Polling station wise and monitor
      View Polling station details and contact details of Polling parties
      The booth app has been used in 4709 total polling stations. A total of 19288 number of officials which include Polling Officials, Presiding Officers, Booth level Officers, and Sector Magistrate have used the booth app as of now. 
      Identification of Voters through Mobile App: Instead of searching from the physical list of electors, Polling officials were able to instantly search the voters by using booth app. 1818923 number of identifications have been done through booth app Faster Polling: As the voters are identified from the QR code instantly, the majority of the time is saved for the polling official. The mobile app displays the coloured photograph along with complete details of the voter, the Polling staff are instantly able to identify the voter. Preventing duplicate voting: The inherent feature of the application is to prevent duplicate voting. If the voter again enters with the same Slip, the booth app instantly displays and make a sound that the voter has already voted. As and when the connectivity improves, the duplicate voters can be identified across the polling stations too.  Queue Information through Voter Helpline App: By using Artificial intelligence, the voters could see for the first time the queue in their polling station. Thus voters were able to plan their visit in advance to the polling station Token Number for queue management: The BLO app gives the token number to voter which is generated from the booth app. This aids in queue management. Online Submission of PRO diary: The Presiding Officers are now able to fill in their statutory diary online including turnout, events and incidences. Real-time updates on Poll incidences and Violations: PRO can now directly send SOS messages informing about any poll violation and incidences to Sector Magistrate and Returning Officers. EVM Replacement through the Mobile app: Sector Magistrate for the first time are able to do the EVM reserve machine replacement from the mobile app. Upon receipt of the message from PRO, the Sector Magistrate allocates the reserve machines and takes back the defective machines through the mobile app.  Real-time Voter turnout: Instead of manual feeding which has so much data entry and calculations errors, Polling Officials were able to send the real-time report directly. There has not been any manual intervention in the entry or sending the 2 hourly turnout report,  Detailed Poll Events reports: Returning Officers are now able to get the report such as time of polling party dispatch, arrival, mock poll start, poll start and poll end reports on the dashboard.  Rich poll dashboard: The dashboard now shows the reports such as gender distribution of voters in real-time, male/female/others distribution, queue at the polling station, speed of the poll, the busiest hour of the polling station, events and incidences and voter turnout in the real-time

    • cVIGIL Mobile APPs

      By ECI, in Mobile Applications,

      India being the largest democracy requires strict enforcement of Model Code Conduct (MCC) to ensure free and fair elections. From past many elections, the enforcement machinery has been brought into place which used to identify and take appropriate action against violators. So far, the complaints about violations of Model Code of Conduct often could not be followed instantly, leading to the violators escaping detection from the action squads. Also, due to lack of any documented evidence in the form of pictures, audios or videos it was seen as a hurdle in verifying a complaint. Further, the absence of a robust response system to quickly and accurately identify the scene of occurrence of violations with the help of geographical location details hampered election officers’ ability to apprehend the violators. 
      cVIGIL empowers Citizens to report Model Code of Conduct Violations such as bribery, free gift, liquor distribution, playing loudspeakers beyond the permissible time during the elections. By using a simple mobile app, the citizen captures the live photo or video. The Election machinery comes into action immediately as they get the evidentiary proof of the violation. Every cVIGIL case is acted upon and replied back with the action taken in the 100-minute timeline. The cVIGIL is now being used in Delhi elections. Since its first pilot in five states’ Assembly General elections during October- December 2018 till the Jharkhand State Assembly General elections during November-December 2019, a total number of 1,71,745 cases have been filled through cVIGIL and from which 1,27,567 (74%) of the cases have been found correct. 
      The mobile app is available at Google Play store here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.nic.eci.cvigil&hl=en_IN and in Apple Store here: https://apps.apple.com/in/app/cvigil/id1455719541
      The Election Commission of India designed and developed a simple yet effective mobile app called cVIGIL. At its core, cVIGIL draws on the idea of community policing. It spurs citizen engagement, and participation in the enforcement process. It assumes officials need citizens, and a trust-based partnership to properly conduct elections. And the mobile application facilitates that partnership by creating awareness, building trust, and confidence. 
      cVIGIL has firmly taken root in the Electoral System of India. The initiative of the Election Commission of India will go meaningfully a long way in engaging Citizens in the electoral process but also meaningfully bringing in a level playing field. In coming times, cVIGIL will become the linchpin of democracy. However, there are many things that need to be done. The first thing is about its reach. A lot of efforts need to be done for its availability to the common man.
      cVIGIL is a major transformative application which has simplified the recording, reporting and resolving the complex model code of conduct violations during the elections period. By use of this technology, Election Commission of India has ushered in an era of greater transparency and involvement of common man in the electoral process. As citizens become more aware about it, the more they will feel part of the elections and better will be the participation in democracy. 
      cVIGIL has won the ‘best Excellence Award’ for the year 2019 given by Computer Society of India. The award was given on 17th January 2019 at KiiT Bhubaneswar. 
      Functionality/ Features of the application
      c-VIGIL Citizen Mobile App 
      C-Vigil was built to report Model Code of Conduct violations during elections. The app prioritized the speedy and effective actions by authorities and promised users status reports within 100 minutes. This “100-minute” rule made the app a reliable way to report violations. The 100-minute time-lines infused the energy into the enforcement staff and a sense of urgency prevailed.
      Register Complaints: The app allows every citizen within the election boundaries to report the Model Code of Conduct / Expenditure Violations by taking photo/audio/video through their mobile phones by signing into the application.  Anonymous User: The app also allows the citizen to complain anonymously, without revealing their personal details/ identity.  Geotagging: The app automatically enables a geo-tagging feature when users switched on their camera in the cVIGIL to report a violation, which helps the field unit to know the precise location of the incident. Investigator App
      cVIGIL Investigator app has been made for the Field units like Flying Squads & Static Surveillance Team to investigate the cVIGIL Citizen cases and conduct Suo-Moto case reporting. 
      Instant Action on incidents: The application forced the Field Unit to reach the spot of the incidence within 15 mins and only then they could upload their report. Suo Moto: One of the important byproducts of the cVIGIL was the use of cVIGIL by Field Units themselves to file suo-moto cases.   cVIGIL Monitor App
      cVIGIL Monitor App provides access to all cases filed in the jurisdiction to Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) and ECI Officials from where they can emphasize and highlight important cases for speedy investigation and redressal. 
      Monitor Live Case: This technology was used for live case monitoring of all the violation complaints directly through mobile devices.  Emphasize/ Highlight cases: Officers can highlight/ Emphasize the cases for prompt resolution and enforce the time-bound pressure on flying squads. Live Status of complaint: Real-time tracking allows citizens and other officials, to check the progress of complaints. cVIGIL Decider App & RO Dashboard
      cVIGIL Decider App/ Dashboard enables the District Electoral Officer (DEO) / Returning Officers (ROs) to decide upon the cases which are sent by the Investigator at the convenience of their mobile phones or system.
      View Live cases: Decider can access all MCC Violation complaints and check real-time progress. Action on Cases: Decider/ Returning Officer can take actions such as Drop, Decide, and Escalate on cVIGIL cases after the report submitted by the Field Unit. cVIGIL Observer App
      cVIGIL Observer App allows Observers and other staff authorized by ECI, to see MCC/ expenditure violation, Appointed for general observers, expenditure observers, police observers may login with Observer ID and Password and avail below features 
      Observers can view the cases falling under their jurisdictions Highlight the cases if urgent attention required  Give observation after the investigation is complete by FST. Observers can  comment only, after a Field Unit has submitted ‘action taken’ reports on them. Outcome of the application
      In election management terms, cVIGIL achieved three things: bottom-up enforcement of laws, timely and effective enforcement of those laws, and a preventive rather than reactive enforcement regime. 
      At its core, cVIGIL draws on the idea of community policing encouraging citizens to  participate in the enforcement process. It assumes officials need citizens, and a trust-based partnership to properly conduct elections. A mobile application facilitates that partnership by creating awareness, building trust, and confidence. For example, this election saw district election officers publicizing the application, and encouraging its use. Countless reports suggest that this spurred citizens to rethink their role in the electoral process, stay vigilant, and know about what is permissible as part of a campaign, and what is not. 
      From the Commission’s perspective, the application generated invaluable data that draws on embedded actors - people who know their local environment, its most pressing problems and forms of violations, and can accurately report these to officials. Tapping into “local wisdom” and “information pools” has the potential to significantly shape the Commission’s activities, particularly drawing up a priority list of violations that can be used in future enforcement. 
      Moreover, such applications build trust and confidence. As our data suggest, a large proportion of users were willing to file non-anonymous complaints; and re-usage rates indicate they felt their complaints were being acted on. In fact, encouraged by the initial response, the Commission started a “leaderboard” in the app, to identify and reward the most proactive citizens. In a way, this created an incentive for others to also actively use the platform; besides creating reputational benefits for civic-minded users. It is also worth noting that in many cases, ordinary voters raised their voice against local strongmen or influential persons who were flouting the law. Put together, citizens were more aware, had greater trust in institutions, and self-confidence.
      Not only does cVIGIL act as a potent decision support system tool for election machinery but also ensures participation of common man in conducting free and fair elections. 92% of cases were registered through cVIGIL mode in comparison to other modes such as letters, phone calls or by post. A whopping 99 % of cases were resolved during the 2019 Lok Sabha phase and every case which was resolved through the cVIGIL was informed to the complainant. 
      The application cVIGIL bonded together all election machinery in enforcing Model Code of Conduct violations. The Election Commission was able to directly drill down upto the level of field units. This brought in alertness and quality in disposal of cases. The timelines were enforced by a seamless information technology interface.
      During the assembly election held at Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Telangana  19,050 total cases were reported and 13,252 total cases were found correct and addressed.
      During the Lok sabha election 2019, 1,42,270 total cases were reported and 1,10,030 number of total cases were found correct and addressed.
      During the assembly election held in Maharashtra and Haryana, 9,902 total cases were reported and  7,650 total cases were found correct and addressed.

    • Voter Helpline App

      By ECI, in Mobile Applications,

      The Voters never had the convenience of voter centric features delivered through the mobile app. All the services were available either in the physical format or were scattered in various websites and applications. The Voter had to either fill in the physical form or visit the website. Similarly, making the complaint had been an arduous task. As the ECI main website contains the information for all stakeholders, a normal voter had great difficulty in navigation and finding the content. 
      Voter Helpline App is the comprehensive app for Indian Voters to search their name in the electoral roll, submit forms for voter registration & modification, download their digital photo voter slips, make complaints, find details about the contesting candidates and most importantly see the real-time results of the elections. 
      19 Million (1.9 Crore) users used the Voter Helpline Mobile Application to search their names in the Electoral Roll till date.
      With 2,16,81,289 (2.16 Crore or 21 Million) downloads and 1,53,604 (1.53 lac or 153K) user feedback, this national award-winning application has taken roots as a major tool for citizen empowerment. The seed for the Voter Helpline was sown in the year 2016, when a new website for Election Commission was envisaged. In the process of designing the new website, the concept of Voter Helpline took its humble beginnings. At that stage, the Project was codenamed as ‘ECI Citizen App’ and the initial objective was to display on the mobile app, the main ECI   Website content.
      However, soon we identified 5 core but disparate applications which perfectly made sense for all of us in ECI but hardly made any sense to the voter. For us in the ECI every application was as important as the other and every application justified its independent existence. But in-turn we were sending our hapless voters to five different websites to do the transactions. 
      First, of course, was the ECI Main Website, which contains gargantuan sized data starting from the year 1951. It had everything from History, Elections, Statistics, Photo Gallery, Current News, Press Release and what not. So why don’t we provide this information in the hands of every citizen?
      The second was the budding new website; ECI SVEEP Portal. When we designed this site, we realised the immense potential it had for Voter Education. States started posting pictures of their campaign, success stories and innovative ideas. So why don’t we give wider access to the audience directly? And allow them to dip into such success stories and creative ideas!
      The third was, of course, our Citizen Grievance Portal. It had existed for many years and had been very successful for redressing grievances. All States’ Chief Electoral Officers, District Election Officers and  Electoral Roll Officers are connected and interwoven to receive and respond to grievances. So why don’t we bring the functionality of lodging the complaints on the mobile? Why not provide the facility for tracking the complaint and the forward response of their grievance on their mobile?
      The fourth was Electoral Search website. This has been a very successful website for searching one’s name in the electoral roll. Why not provide an option for electoral search from the mobile app? Why not give the option of downloading the Voter details directly on mobile? Why not link Contact details of the Booth Level Officer, Electoral Roll Officer, District Election Officer and Chief Electoral officers customised to voter area?
      The fifth was the submission of Forms. nvsp.in has been in existence for many years providing the facility for anybody to register online, request for transfer, request for a change in details and request for duplicate EPIC Card. Why not provide all the forms in the mobile app? Why not provide the option to upload the required documents directly from mobile gallery or by clicking a picture from a mobile phone? Why not give an option for form tracking? This long chain of questions got us to the drawing board. 
      It was a mammoth task as always is the case, when we work on integration. Stitching them all together was a delicate and arduous task for my handpicked core team of engineers. They built, they dismantled, structured again but they never stopped. 
      When the Voter Helpline App was presented before the Commission,  it was instantly approved for launch but with a caveat for pre-trials and feedbacks before we launched for the wider public. The app received a hugely positive response and more than 99% of people liked the Voter Helpline App during an anonymous survey.
      That momentous day was 8th February 2019, when the app was formally launched. The application came live with 5 disparate technologies into one: Main website, SVEEP website, Electoral Search Website, nvsp forms, and complaint website. 
      Instantly, it had forms pouring in, complaints getting resolved, voters getting aware about EVM, downloading the latest ECI news and most importantly searching their name on the electoral roll. As we go into print almost  35,59,206 forms have been submitted through the mobile app alone, and we haven’t heard the last word on the app’s success yet!
      It took its shape as ‘Voter Helpline’, when Hon’ble Commission directed to setup ‘1950’ as universal call centre number and to launch Voter Verification and Identification, (VVIP) Programme. When ‘1950’ was named ‘Voter Helpline’, the ECI Citizen App became ‘Voter Helpline App’. 
      The Voter Helpline app has been the most important Mobile app of the Election Commission of India. 53 Million electoral searches have been performed through the mobile app.
      With the advent of Booth App, the polling station searches have become very easy and fast by the use of QR code. The Photo Voter slip contains the QR code which is scanned by the Polling Officials in the polling station. Now the Voters can also download their digital photo voter slip from the Voter Helpline Mobile App. The process involves linking up their mobile phone with that of EPIC card. The Digital Photo Voter slips can be shown at the polling station instead of physical photo voter slip. 
      The Voter Helpline Mobile application is available on both the Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eci.citizen&hl=en_IN and Apple  App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voter-helpline/id1456535004 

      Electoral Search is the paramount feature of Voter Helpline Application, which allows voters to search their electoral roll by entering personal Details, EPIC, or by scanning Barcode. The information can be saved by the voter/ elector to use it as voter slip. He/ she can share this information to their contact list also. Forms (NVSP):
      Submitting the online forms such as New Voter Registration, Update in Details and others, became very easy by the use of Voter Helpline Application. Types of Forms Apply Online (New): It allows the new users (Overseas also) to fill the application to register themselves as a Voter. Transfer/ Shifting: It allows swift transfer/ shifting from one constituency to another to the users. Deletion: This form helps the users for objecting inclusion or seeking deletion of name in the electoral roll. Correction Of entries: It allows the voters to change electoral particular through their mobile phone only. Transposition: It allows the convenience of the relocation of habitation in one constituency from one place to another. Duplicate Epic: 
      In case of correction in electors details or change in address the user can request to issue a duplicate Photo identity card (EPIC) with his/ her new details. Status: 
      Real time status of the application can also be viewed by the users on their phone by entering the application id. Each and every step is shown to provide transparency. Save Form:
      An option to save the form is also available in the application, to allow ease of access to the users on the later date. Complaints (NGSP) :
      The facility of lodging the Grievances online makes the Voter Helpline application more viable and imitating. A Universal Helpline Number 1950 has also been included in the app for those users, who prefer to call and register their complaints.  File Complaints:
      Registering a complaint has never been this easy, but the Voter Helpline App made it a piece of cake for its users. With the convenience of simple clicks, users can file all the Elections or Non- Elections related complaints. Status:
      The real-time status of the complaints gives transparency. Candidate 
      In order to facilitate the voters/ electors, the application has been expanded and now offers the facility to view all the details of candidates such as Profile, Affidavits, and others. The user can bookmark their favourite candidate to see the step-by-step progress. Candidate Profile 
      It allows the user to view and download the profile of the contesting candidates in their mobile phones.  Affidavit 
      Original Affidavits can also be downloaded by the users, which have been uploaded by the candidates. Bookmark 
      App allowed the user to bookmark their favourite candidates to track their progress and get personalized results. Share 
      The voters can download the profile of the candidate and share the details to their contact list.  Result
      Displaying the real-time result on the mobile phone for the first time, was one of the crucial features of this application. It allowed the users to see the authentic results directly on their phone from anywhere. The user can also view the real-time results of his/ her constituency by scanning the barcode of the EPIC card.  Search your Polling Officer 
      The application also has an option to search the Booth Level officer, Electoral Roll Officer, District Election Officer, and the Chief Electoral Officer and can make a direct call to them from the app Call Directly  Schedule of Elections Navigate Polling Station  Selfie Campaign
      The Selfie campaign has been introduced this time to encourage the voters to go and vote. ECI used the social media platform to spread awareness and made it a full-blown phenomenon. Elector Verification Programme(EVP) Campaign
      Electors verification Programme allows electors to verify their details  verify their details, family tagging and collect feedback on polling stations using Voter Helpline App and Electors need to link their mobile number. Personal Vault 
      The Voter Vault facility was provided in the Voter Helpline mobile application by which QR code-based booth slips were available digitally. The voter could display the digital QR code in the polling station and cast the vote.  Process Flow
      To use the features of the Voter HelpLine mobile app, voters open the app in mobile and login in the app using mobile number and OTP functionality. The voter can select the feature by clicking on the Home screen as mentioned below - 
      Electoral Search By Barcode By Personal Details By EPIC id Forms(NVSP) New Registration Transfer Shifting Deletion Correction of Entries Transposition Forms(NGSP) File Complaints Track Status of Complaint Results Party-wise Results Constituency wise Constituency wise trends Electoral Verification Programme Linking of Mobile with EPIC Mobile number verification Search your details Correction of entries & Verification Build family Tree Candidate Nomination Status Parliamentary Constituency/ Assembly Constituency Contested Accepted/ Rejected Withdrawn Selfie Campaign Personal Vault The outcome of the application

      The two innovative ICT applications of Election Commission of India i.e. ‘cVIGIL’ and ‘Voter Helpline App’ developed in-house have won the eGovernance ‘Award of Excellence’ for the year 2019. The award was presented at KiiT, Bhubaneswar. Dr. Kushal Pathak, Director ICT & CISO, ECI and Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha, Sh. Sushil Kumar Lohani received the award on behalf of ECI. These awards were given by Computer Society of India (CSI), Special Interest Group on e-Governance (CSI SIG e-Gov) at KiiT, Bhubaneswar on 17th January 2020.
      The statistics speak of its volume and success. Recently, the Election Commission of India solicited voters to actively verify their name in the Electoral Roll and get it corrected. This program was a major success with the following statistics
      EVP stats on VHA
      Status of EVP program  is as follows from 1st September 2019 to 1st December 2019 
      ( **For states excluding J&K, Maharashtra, Haryana & Jharkhand)
      Number of days for which the EVP Program was implemented - 91 days Total Number of electors - 77,07,90,304 Total Number of requests received - 76,22,95,111 Average Requests received per day - 83,76,869 Percentage of request received (%) vs Total Electors - 98.90% Number of correct entries reported - 73,00,50,926 Percentage of correct entries - 95.77% Number of incorrect entries reported - 3,23,19,692 Percentage of incorrect entries -  4.23% Number of form 8 received -  2,05,24,549 Number of Unenrolled electors reported -  7,31,213 Number of prospective electors reported - 6,24,581 Number of Form-6 received -  4,926,961  Number of Form-7 received -  6,881,784  Number of Form-8 received -  41,077,979  Number of Form-8A received -  497,243  The Voter Helpine app is a single-stop solution for Voters in India and will grow further with more such voter centric features being added in the app. 

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccOVEGAdZvk&t=11s
      Election Commission of India has been constantly focussing on providing better services to Persons with Disabilities through various mediu. In the world of technology innovation, the mobile application has taken a front seat. Many of the PwD effectively use the mobile application for day to day living. 
      In order to facilitate the Persons with Disability, the Election commission of India developed an android based mobile application, the PwD App. An eligible person with a disability or reduced mobility / physical functions can get enrolled in electoral roll by declaring themselves as a person with a disability. Upon receiving the request from PwD electors/ voters, the election commission will ensure that the booth level officer will reach the doorstep delivery of electoral services. 
      The PwD app facilitates PwD Voters in verifying their names in the electoral roll, enrolling them, getting their name, address and photograph corrected. To do this, mobile accessibility features like voice-over prompts, high contrasting interface, and easy navigation features were developed in the app. The user interface was kept very simple. The PwD user enters the mobile number and address and the information travels down to Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) in minutes and ERO in-turn allocate the case to Booth Level Officer to visit the home of the PwD user to get the form filled up. During the whole process, PwD App user can use the reference number to track their application status. 
      Inform About Your Disability: The App allows the person with disabilities to mark themselves as PwD voter by entering their EPIC number only and it will automatically fetch their details. Voice Access and select to speak features are also available for the visually impaired person.  Request For New Voter ID Registration: This allows the PwDs to register as a new voter with the minimal information. Registration will only require the name and address of the person and the rest of the work would be done by the Election Commission by providing doorstep facility, i.e. BLO would be assigned and visit the home of the PwD user to get the form filled up. Request For Transfer:  When a voter relocates from one geographical location or one constituency to another, their voting districts or state also changes, to handle the transfer process, PwD app provides the option to the user to raise the transfer request.  Request For Updation: Any correction, addition, or deletion in voter ID card can be done using a “Request for Updation” feature.  Request For Wheelchair: The PwD user can raise the request for wheelchair-using this feature of the mobile app by clicking the option after login using the mobile number.  Find Polling Booth: The booth locator feature incorporated and integrated Google Maps, to ease the PwD voters to reach polling stations. It helps the voters to find the polling booth location and directs them to the booth location from the current location.  Interaction Controls: The TalkBack feature allows interaction using speech, vibration, and audible feedback for users who are unable to operate smartphones. The enlarged graphics like text and icons, High contrast themes, Structured headlines, and better typography enhances the readability of the content. Easy To Use: This App has been designed keeping easy and interactive user interface in view. The content has been classified based upon the user's disability. PwD users with minimal technical knowledge can easily use the app to claim all the benefits like the request for a wheelchair, mark as PwD, etc. Candidate List: One of the important features of the app is the availability of the contesting candidate list on the app. The PwD voter can find the list of their candidates. Once the list is finalised, the PwD voter can know the list which is exactly as per the ballot paper. The blind user can hear the candidate list along with the position in the list.  Process Flow
      To use the features of the PwD mobile app, voter opens the app in mobile and login in the app using mobile number and OTP functionality. A voter can select the feature by clicking on the Home screen as mentioned below -  
      Login Launch Mobile App Enter Mobile Number Enter OTP received Submit PwD Home Request for Marking as PwD Enter EPIC Number Search BLO Contact Details displayed Request for New Voter Registration Enter Voter details Submit Request for Transfer Select Current AC, Transfer AC Submit Request for Change (Correction, Deletion) Enter EPIC Number Search Enter Voter details to be changed Request for wheelchair Enter EPIC Number Search User details fetched Submit  Candidate Candidate List displayed Filter details election wise Register Complaints Select relevant details Enter Complaint Submit Search Polling Official Enter EPIC Number Search BLO, ERO, DEO details fetched based on EPIC number Booth Locator Enter EPIC Number Search Navigate to the polling station Check Status Enter Complaint Id Submit Read/ View Articles Articles are displayed
      The outcome of the application
      In order to facilitate voting by PwDs electors, Commission has started some critical and focused initiatives like providing wheelchair facilities during elections, volunteer assistance in the booth, and transport to the polling station. Further, to facilitate visually impaired people, the Commission has introduced a very important feature in the PwD application, which reads out the full candidate list with name and serial number to the voter. In addition, the voter can select the desired number from the ballot list and cast their vote with ease. 47,727 requests for marking themselves as PwD have been received from the app. Till today 3,105,355 user has viewed their PwD status.
      The Application is available on the Google Play Store and can be downloaded using the given link:

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