Indian electronic voting machines (EVMs) may be a subject of controversy in the country, but that hasn’t stopped poll panels of many countries, including South Africa from showing interest in acquiring the ballot gadget.
The interest in Indian EVMs from foreign poll management bodies comes in the backdrop of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Telugu Desam Party and the AIADMK, among others, and some rights activists raising questions over the proper functioning of the voting machines.
The Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla and Election Commissioners Dr. S.Y. Quraishi and V.S. Sampath held bilateral discussions with Deputy Secretary-General of Commonwealth Mmasegoa Masire-Mwamba, Commissioner of Federal Election Commission, USA, Ellen L. Weinstraub, Deputy Chairperson of Independent Electoral Commission, South Africa, Thoko Nandisile Mpumlwana, Election Commissioner of Mauritius M.I. Abdool Rahman, Chairman of Interim Independent Electoral Commission of Kenya Ahmed Issack Hassan, among others.
The exchanges with the United States focused on campaign financing, expenditure scrutiny and regulatory provisions.
Improvement of electoral rolls, voters’ awareness and education, enforcement of model code of conduct and engagement of technology in improving election management were discussed in the bilateral meetings.