May 30, 2024

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75 Delegates From 23 Countries Witness The Poll Process First-Hand In 6 States As Part Of IEVP.

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New Delhi, 9th of May, 2024 : International delegates have expressed their happiness at having witnessed the polling process first-hand in General Election 2024. While some of the delegates appreciated transparency others termed ECI’s initiatives such as Green Polling Stations as inspirational. Delegates also appreciated the use of technology at scale in the elections including during randomization of EVM-VVPATs. Some of the delegates also said that they were particularly struck by the unwavering faith and commitment of Indian voters towards strengthening democratic ideals. Overall, there was unanimity among the visiting members of the Election Management Bodies of these countries that the election process in India was a peaceful, inclusive and accessible and takes place in a festive mood.

These reactions came after largest ever contingent of international delegates experienced India’s General Elections first-hand in the recently concluded third phase of the elections as part of the International Election Visitors’ Programme (IEVP).

Polling was held in 93 Constituencies across 11 States/UTs in the third phase and the delegates watched the polling in 6 States/UTs including the preparatory work that goes into making what is arguably the largest logistical exercise involving movement of men and machinery in the world.

Karnataka

Delegates from Cambodia, Tunisia, Moldova, Seychelles, and Nepal visited Belgaum Parliamentary constituency in Karnataka and interacted with polling officers and presiding officers inside the polling station, witnessed mock poll, visited command control center, media monitoring facilities. The delegates appreciated the transparency as underscored by mock poll, presence and involvement of candidates’ representative inside the polling station.

Goa

Delegates from Bhutan, Mongolia and a media team from Israel witnessed polling and related arrangements in both the constituencies in Goa. They were also exposed to mock poll, command control center, media monitoring facilities and dispatch centers. CEC Bhutan and Electoral officials of Bhutan & Mongolia appreciated transparency in involving political parties, media, candidates’ representative inside the polling station in conduct of elections. Admiration and surprise was expressed to see PwD managed Polling stations, and Pink Polling stations by the visiting delegates. Delegates appreciated the use of software for randomization of EVM-VVPATs.

 Madhya Pradesh

A 11-member international team comprising delegates from Sri Lanka and Philippines visited polling stations across Bhopal, Vidisha, Sehore, and Raisen constituencies, gaining firsthand insights into the electoral process of the Lok Sabha elections. Interacting with voters, they observed the enthusiasm and active participation of Indian citizens in the democratic process. Reflecting on their experiences, the delegates expressed admiration for the vibrant democracy they witnessed in India. They were particularly struck by the unwavering faith and commitment of Indian voters towards strengthening democratic ideals.

Uttar Pradesh

Delegates from Chile, Georgia, Maldives, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Uzbekistan witnessed the polling on 7th May, 2024 in Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Visiting dignitaries were taken to see architectural marvel of Taj Mahal and the Fatehpur Sikri falling in these two constituencies. They were exposed to the various arrangements/activities on the poll day and the day before the polling day. There was unanimity among the visiting members of the Election Management Bodies of these countries that the election process in India was a peaceful, inclusive and accessible.

 Gujarat

Delegates from Fiji, Australia, Russia, Madagascar, Kyrgyz Republic witnessed pre- poll arrangements and polling process for the General Elections to the Lok Sabha, 2024 in Ahmedabad. The delegation was impressed with strong room(s) having double lock system and deployment of armed police personnel ensuring effective security for EVMs. Female managed polling stations in Assembly Constituency of Sanand in Ahmedabad East PC was also drew appreciation and invited comments that they boost confidence in women and increase their participation. Facility of ramp and wheelchairs in all places along with volunteers to help elderly voters was also highly appreciated. The concept of Braille ballot paper for blind voters was also liked as a good initiative to help blind people.

 Maharashtra

Representatives from the Election Management Bodies of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Zimbabwe visited Raigad parliamentary constituency in Maharashtra and witnessed the pre-poll arrangements, dispersal of polling parties and other logistics. The group interacted with the District Election Officer, Returning Officer, Presiding Officers and other election related officials about the various facets of the Indian Elections. The delegates were impressed with the transparency measures at polling stations.

Delegates from 23 countries namely Australia, Bangladesh. Bhutan, Cambodia, Chile, Fiji, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Rep, Madagascar, Maldives, Mongolia, Moldova, Namibia, Nepal, New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe arrived at New Delhi to witness the Elections in the third phase of polling on the 5th May 2024. They interacted with the Election Commission of India in the inaugural session presided over by the Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Shri Gyanesh Kumar and Dr. Sukhbir Singh Sandhu. Thereafter the delegates were divided into 6 smaller groups to visit different states viz. Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Goa and Madhya Pradesh and visited polling stations in 13 constituencies for this purpose. The CEOs of the States organized the visit of the groups to see the poll preparedness, logistics and webcasting arrangements as well as engaging with polling officers and presiding officers on pre-poll day and to witness the mock poll, actual polling and to interact with voters on election day i.e.7th May 2024.

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