Lok Sabha elections 2019: From tackling fake news to monitoring spending, the EC has its hands full
New Delhi, Mar 11: Tracking fake news will be one of the biggest challenges as India gets set to vote in one of the most hard fought elections.
The social media platforms in particular will be under the scanner. Social media platforms would deploy appropriate fact checkers to scan fake news. The use of abusive language too would come under the scanner.
Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said each of the social media platforms had created a mechanism to accept only pre-certified political advertisements during the election process and would share the expenditure incurred in this regard with the election authorities.
Further the election management related news on all news channels will be monitored and if there is a violation noticed, immediate action would be taken.
The EC for the first time has launched a citizen centric mobile application for reporting of cases of Model Code of Conduct violation. District election authorities have to revert to complainants within 100 minutes of receiving complaints about the status of the case.
To monitor election expenditure, there would be several observers. Banks and the Financial Intelligence Unit have been asked to forward any information relating to suspicious cash withdrawal to the election officials. There would be control and complaint monitoring centre with 24 hour toll free numbers.
Further several police officials will be deployed as observers at both the state and district levels. They would oversee the deployment of law and order.
The EC announced that 'voter verifiable paper audit trail' will be used in all polling stations this time. Voters would also for the first time find the faces of their candidates along with their respective party symbols on the electronic voting machines.
For the disabled:
All eligible voters in the category of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) can request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as PwD through the use of the mobile application. They would have to enter their contact details and the booth level officer is assigned to provide doorstep facility. The app is currently available on the Google Play store.
Further the Braille photo voter slips have been introduced to ensure active participation of those with visual impairment.
Citizens can call universal toll-free helpline number of Election Commission of India - 1950 - to connect directly to District Contact Centre.
Further the EC has also introduced a website to seek feedback, suggestions and also resolve voter related issue. The portal is eci-citizenservices.eci.nic.in.