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'Postal ballots to be sent via electronic mode in Goa'

Postal ballots to be sent via electronic mode in Goa
Goa will become the first state in the country to opt for electronic transmission of postal ballot to service voters in the upcoming Assembly polls, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Syed Nasim Zaidi said on Sunday.

"The returning officers will transfer the postal ballots to service voters by electronic means so that the service voters can download it, fill it and send it via e-mail to returning officer," Zaidi told reporters here after reviewing preparedness for the February 4 polls.

He said sending ballot papers through electronic means will cut down the time in transmission of postal ballot to the service voters.

"We hope that a large number of service voters will be able to utilise this facility. This would be the first in the region and around the globe. That is a matter of great pride for all of us," he said.

Goa has 822 service voters who are either in the defence, para-military forces or on diplomatic missions.

He said Goa would also be the first state where all assembly constituencies will be covered by (VVPAT) Voter- Verified Paper Audit Trail machines.

"This will be used all over the state to ensure transparency of the process to the voter. It will assure the voter that his vote has gone to the right candidate," he said.

The CEC also said the commission has initiated few IT-based initiatives.

"There is one scheme called Samadhan to address to complaints. It has been working well and political parties have expressed their satisfaction," he said.

"With regard to permission clearance system Suvidha, we have already directed to improve the working of permission system. We assure that political parties that their permission applications would receive attention," Zaidi added.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure that the polling takes place in a free and fair manner, a slew of measures have been taken up by the ECI like strict vigil on casinos, state borders and the airport.

"There was a fear that casinos can be misused with respect to cash withdrawal and distribution. This morning itself we have reviewed with the state administration and Director General of Police and in particular we have roped in senior officials from Karnataka and Goa," Zaidi said.
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