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Booth app likely to be used in polls to junk bogus voters

Booth app likely to be used in polls to junk bogus voters

Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to use its booth mobile application in a full-fledged manner during the upcoming Assembly elections in Bengal to root out bogus electors, prevent duplication of voting and quickly bring out details of the polling process, an official said on Tuesday.

If introduced, Bengal will be the first state to use the application in a full-fledged manner during an election process. It is expected to provide accurate details of the polling process every two hours.

"It's in the planning stage. Nothing has been finalised yet," an ECI official said.

The booth app can auto-detect the duplicate entries and prevent repeat voters from entering the polling station. "Whenever there is a duplicate entry, the Polling Official is alerted by a loud sound on his mobile phone," said another senior official.

The application, connected to the central ECI server, transmits encrypted data. Being an integrated app of the ENCORE application, it facilitates in faster identification of voters using an encrypted QR code from the digital marked copy of the electors thereby reducing the length of queues and helping to conduct faster polling.

The application was launched in five polling stations in Uttar Pradesh, three in Maharashtra, Bihar and Punjab and then in 10 seats in Jharkhand in November 2019.

The application also provides advance queue information using Artificial Intelligence and mathematical models at the booths so that voters can plan their visit in advance to the polling station.

The voter has to show the QR coded slip at the reception of the polling centre. The booth level officer scans the QR code and allows entry of the voters, whose names have been listed. Inside the polling station, the polling official again scans the QR code to verify the voter's identity.

Polling Official marks the entry of the voter inside the polling station using the app. The recorded entries are then transmitted back to the central server. The returning officer gets to view the information on a dashboard with real-time voter turnout, and various poll-related events.

In a recent meeting with the District Magistrates, the Commission has informed about its plans of integrating the booth app in the mobile phones of presiding officers at a number of Assembly constituencies across 8 districts of the state. The Englishbazar Assembly constituency in Malda is one among the dozen constituencies in the district, where presiding officers will have booth app embedded in their mobile phones.

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