Lok Sabha elections this year will be less of a burden on poll officials, particularly women.
In the past, officials had to huff and puff carrying heavy electronic voting machines (EVMs) to polling stations and back to de-mustering centres.
This time, a new version called EVM-3, which is sleek, compact, user-friendly and most importantly light weight, will be used.
Nodal officer of EVM management B K Kusumadhara told polling officials in eight training centres in Dakshina Kannada district that the new EVMs are so light army personnel in Assam were seen carrying three units in one hand.
Version-3 is far different from the one invented by Rangarajan of BEL, says nodal officer for Training Management H C Nagendra.
For instance, the EVM panel will no longer display acronyms. In previous EVMs, candidates were marked as ‘CD’ and total as ‘tot.’ Now at the end of polling, the panel will display ‘total number of votes polled.’
However, the names of candidates will not be revealed and only the serial number will be displayed. If the cables are connected improperly, a message saying ‘connecting error’ will be flashed.
In the previous EVMs, when the panel indicated dots, the battery had to be replaced. Version-3 will alert officials by displaying a message that the battery needs to be replaced, Nagendra said.
Some features from the previous EVMs such as poll starting and ending time have been retained. “Even after the battery is removed, the memory will remain for five years,” he said.
Many women polling officials welcomed the new EVMs.
Some recollected coming almost to tears struggling to carry their luggage and EVMs to polling stations. Kusumadhara told Express that this time the number of votes to be polled in EVMs has been restricted to 2,000.