The Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) for the service voters registered a record voter turnout of 60.14 per cent in the Lok Sabha elections, 2019, the Election Commission said on Sunday, signalling the initiative's success.
The voters to whom postal ballots were sent electronically included, personnel working in central forces under Arms Act and government officials deployed in embassies outside the country.
"Compared to 13,27,627 number of registered service electors of last General Election in 2014, a record highest number of 18,02,646 were enrolled as service electors in 2019 in the world's largest democratic election process. For the first time enabled through the dedicated portal, the service voters were sent postal ballots electronically one way to save processing time, resources and avoid human errors," a press release by the EC read.
Out of the total number of service electors in 2019 General Elections, 10,16,245 were from Ministry of Defence, 7,82,595 from Ministry of Home Affairs (Central Armed Police Forces), 3539 of Ministry of External Affairs and 267 from the state police, it added.
More than 10 lakh service voters exercised their votes using ETPBS, according to the release.
"In the seven phases spanning General Elections 2019, a total of 18,02,646 postal ballots were dispatched electronically using the flagship IT programme - ETPBS of Election Commission of India. In return 10,84,266 e-postal ballots were received indicating 60.14% turnout," it read.
EC also detailed the security features of the ETPBS and the why the need for its creation was felt.
"ETPBS is a fully secured system, having two security layers. Secrecy of voting is maintained through the use of OTP and PIN and no duplication of casted ETPB is possible due to the unique QR Code in the portal... The purpose of the online system was to create a convenient and easy-to-use online system for Defense Personnel to become service voters. Service voter turnout in 2014 was only 4 per cent," it added.
The EC with the motto of "no voter to be left behind" empowered and ensured the right to vote for the eligible service electors through the ETPBS.
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