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  • Category: Elections

    Why not replace the party symbol with the candidate's photo on Electronic Voting Machines?

    Should the symbol of a political party be entirely replaced with the details of the candidate on an EVM? What could be the significance of such a move if it is taken up? Give pros and cons in your debate.

    Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) are used in elections in our country. Sometimes ballot papers are also used. The EVM displays the party symbol or the symbol allotted to that particular candidate on the EVM or ballot paper. The voters most of the time vote based on the symbol displayed. The voter, if he/she is literate can read the name. In the case of illiterates, only the symbol is known to him. Many of the voters may not be knowing about the candidate. The party symbol plays an important role than the credibility of the contesting candidate,

    Instead of the party symbol, if the photo, age, and qualification of the candidate are displayed, the candidate's worthiness will be assessed while voting. The candidate's worthiness is dominated by the party symbol. If the voter finds the photo, age, and qualification instead of the party symbol, the worthiness of the candidate will be considered. Even illiterate people can recognize the candidate, and they too can assess the credibility of the candidate.

    The Supreme Court of India is about to hear a case on this subject. It directed the petitioner to serve a notice to the Advocate General of India. The case will come up for hearing shortly. Members, express your opinions on this subject of replacing the party symbol with the candidate's photo, age, and qualification on the 'EVM' or 'Ballot Paper'.
  • #725973
    Putting the photograph of the candidate on the ballot paper is a good idea. But party name or symbol should also be there. So, that one does not get confused and should know both of the things for surety that is the candidate as well as party name.
    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #725984
    The author must understand that the elections are faught by the party and not in the capacity of Individual and even in that case the symbols are allotted so that the illeterate voters would not get confused. For example in the by election to one of the seat, the TRS car symbol was confused with the truck symbol given to a Independent candidat who polled 5000 votes. So the photo of the candidate is must to know as to whom they are voting and the party symbol through which he is contesting to make no doubt election choice. Even if the ballot paper is used the folding would be done in such a way that the ink gets stamped on the photo of the candidate.
    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #725992
    Nice suggestion by the author, but this is true that in our country most of the voters votes on the basis of party symbol only, there are many people who may not really like the person to whom they are giving their vote but just because he/she belongs from a specific party , they vote them. May be when the people saw the picture of the candidate, they can change their decision at that moment too.
    Swati Sharma

    Keep your Face to the SunShine

  • #725994
    The candidate's worth is not seen when voting for a symbol. The symbol of the political party is dominating the candidate's qualification and worthiness. The political parties are giving tickets to candidates on the basis of their financial position, caste, and winning possibilities. The candidate's qualifications and his service to society are not considered. Today, we find many people with grave criminal records occupying positions in the Government. The well-qualified common man is not able to contest the election because money power is playing the biggest role. The main political parties which are cash-rich are fielding candidates based on their caste and financial position. This situation has to change completely if we want good governance.
    It is true that in our country people vote for a party. Are the political parties considering the real worth of the candidates? Most of the people in India do not join any political party. They may have some favouritism towards a party based on the history of the party or any such other consideration. The main political parties are not doing justice to the people by giving tickets to unworthy people. If the party symbol is replaced with the photo and the qualification of the candidate, the voters think before they vote. The worth but not the party of a candidate will play an important role.
    What do we want, a worthy candidate or a candidate from a particular political party? When the symbol is replaced by the photo of the candidate, the political parties also think twice before selecting candidates with criminal records.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #726007
    I welcome the idea of the author to have photograph of the candidate. But it is not possible to have them on the voting machine, but can be had on the ballot papers.
    Before entering the voting booth, the details of the candidate and party with their symbol and photographs should be displayed with a serial number outside the booth. It would be easy for the voters to read and understand their candidates and his/her serial number. They can prepare themselves to press the relevant serial number of their candidate.

    No life without Sun

  • #726011
    The photograph of the candidate should be a part of the electoral process and it is definitely a novel idea. It is to be seen as how to achieve it either by putting it on the ballot paper or displaying outside the election booth. This will be very useful for the voter to decide his vote in the favour of a good candidate rather than the better party. Once this thing is implemented then only the benefits would be known.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #726017
    Though I found the idea of inclusion of the candidate's photograph on the EVM good, in our country, the political parties always play a lead role over the candidates. People are not much interested in which candidate to vote for and they remain interested to vote for a particular party. Looks at times play an important role because it evokes a kind of emotional attachment and that's why the dress is an important factor when we go out to work. From the psychological point of view, a sober look is always preferred over a casual look. When you are given a list of pictures of the candidates, instead of the symbols of the political parties you will always prefer the person whose looks you find serious. This is absolutely a psychological factor and no political party will allow this psychological factor while making decisions to elect a candidate.

    I agree there should be a minimum qualification to contest the election but having more qualification cannot guarantee that the candidate will be more effective. The candidate must be efficient in the field and help to resolve issues of common men. I don't think the highly qualified politicians in all the political parties are doing justice to their qualifications when it comes to serving people. Qualification doesn't always mean one is willing to work for the development of people. Another important factor may be the time taken by an individual to cast their vote. If a voter has to look into various aspects of the candidates like age, qualification, etc before pressing the button on the EVM the election process will be time-consuming. I hope considering every aspect the apex court will deliver the judgement.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #726019
    I think it is a unique idea. I appreciate the person who has approached supreme court for it. It will be good to see the candidate instead of party but I don't think it will be appreciated by political parties. They will put their logic that illiterate people easily see party symbol so they can vote without having any doubt. But if the party symbol is removed from evm or ballot paper then they get confused which candidate they have to vote for.
    However, I am sure contesting candidate can drill his detail information into the minds of his votors. His people who campaign door to door can make people aware whom they have to vote for.
    If two more information are notes down then whole system will get changed. My suggestions are as follows.

    - What the qualifications of the candidate are. Those who voters who like to elect an educated person they will vote for him
    - Whether or not the candiate is accused of any criminal offence.
    It will be appreciated if these suggestions are also included . As we know that wrong people who are facing court trials they are elected as our representatives in parliament and assemblies and we vote these people because they contest elections on behalf of our chosen and favourite party.

    Be indian and buy Indian.

  • #726058
    The suggestion is good. But these days voters go by a party of the candidate. They want to vote for the party which they like. They need not even know the name of the candidate but they go by the symbol and vote for that symbol. In many cases, the worth of the candidate is also not seen. For such people will get the problem. It is always better to vote for a candidate who is having real worth. A voter has to study who are all the people contesting. Wh are their merits and demerits? He can decide on the best candidate he feels. But who will do all this exercise?
    always confident

  • #726065
    It is a good suggestion for the citizen of our country to know and vote for the appropriate candidate. As mentioned in the post, the photo and party symbol should be printed on the EVM machine so that the voters know for whom he/she is voting. We do understand that many voters do vote for the party but it is also to understand that in every village, municipality, or state, we only know the candidate and they are the ones who can get the work done for us in our region and not the regional party. If we want to see any progress in our locality, panchayat, or municipal area, we need the best candidate or party to win instead of blindly voting for a party that has a majority in central but cannot get the work done in our state. If every voter erases their blind faith in a party or their symbolic so called religion, caste, or division but focuses on real issues i.e. right to education, progress, good health, employment, etc then, every voter will cast their vote for the candidate who is good at work in their respective area and make him win other than focusing on the central party. For this, the candidate's photo, name, and party symbol on the EVM machine will help the voters to cast their right to vote correctly at the polling booth.
    “The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in." — Morrie Schwartz

  • #726068
    The system of voting for a party should go. The political parties are working for their party's benefit. What we want is candidates with good character and the capability to serve the people without self-interest. For example, we can take the case of Dr.Jayaprakash Narayan of Hyderabad, Telangana. He is a senior I.A.S officer who voluntarily retired from service and entered politics with good intentions. He is a very knowledgeable person with vast experience in administration at higher levels. Only once he was elected and then he was defeated in the subsequent election. Capable people are rejected in the name of the party. People with criminal records are getting party tickets and occupying good positions in the Government. We have Ministers and Chief Ministers facing cases. That should not be the case. We need clean candidates in all respects. By having the photo on EVM or ballot paper, the voters recognize the person and vote after assessing his character. The candidates will also be careful and approach the people to ask for votes on their own merit but not in the name of the party. The person who filed a case in the Apex Court did a very good thing. The system of asking for votes in the name of the party should go. This system is making the political parties raise large amounts of funds in the name of donations and are buying voters and the elected representatives. Political funding is the mother of corruption. Now we have some companies whose job is to collect money for these political parties. The amendments to FCRA and the Electoral bonds clearly indicate the rot in the fundraising by the political parties.
    Mr. Arafatuzzafar, if you go through the content again, it was mentioned there that the qualification and age of the candidate should be there instead of party symbol. They can be accommodated on the EVM or the ballot paper if the election commission takes a favorable decision.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #726200
    I wholeheartedly agree with the writer's idea. But I think it would be good to know the old history of elections as well.
    In the early days of Kerala, it was colored boxes for each candidate. Each vote was put in a colored box provided to them. A color box was opened and all the votes in it were added to that candidate's account. The campaign at the time was "Vote for the candidate in the green/red/blue box". Its purpose was to be a color for people to remember.
    After that time, the candidate's symbol was pasted on each box. Symbols such as elephant, peacock, camel, and sparrow, etc. The campaign at the time was to vote for the elephant box or the peacock box or the sparrow box. The respective candidate will get all the votes coming in that box. There was no such thing as a process of invalid votes.
    And after that becomes one box - the name and symbol on the ballot paper. The box is opened and the entire ballot has taken out on a table and bundled with 25 ballots of each candidate. counting the bundles and the remaining loose ballots of all candidates. It was from this system that invalid votes began to emerge. A system in which the seal moves from one candidate's column to another's a column. Even though the name and also, the symbol is added because the illiterate cannot read the name. It is estimated that even in the city area there are 10 - 15 percent illiterates. In rural areas, it can be up to 50 percent. That is the significance of the symbol.
    But not the backing of a political party or anything else. It is true that registered political parties have a preference for the symbol. That is not what the author has raised.
    1. What will an illiterate person who is unable to read a candidate's name and to identify the photo and educational qualifications display on the voting machine instead of the symbol do?
    2. Can our photo be identified on many of our government identification cards? So how do literates identify a candidate?
    3. Photo and degrees cannot be contained in a space that contains only one symbol. I think the number of illiterates in India is more than 25 percent.
    Engineers have proven that the current EVM system can be subverted, but the Election Commission has not approved it. That is why those in the knowledgable are demanding the return of the old paper ballot system.

    "Cheruthulli Peruvellam"
    small drops make a mighty ocean

  • #726203
    Another important thing left to say. In the early days, there were only 2-3 candidates in each constituency. But now more than one voting machine is needed in many constituencies. The paper ballot is the size of a newspaper page ....
    "Cheruthulli Peruvellam"
    small drops make a mighty ocean

  • #726212
    @ Mr. Wilson Mathew: I am not aware of the colored ballot boxes but I know the single ballot boxes. Replacing the party symbol with the candidate's photo is not my idea. If you refer to the last paragraph of the content of this thread, there is a case before the Supreme Court on this very subject. The idea of the complainant impressed me and this thread is raised.
    The present-day elections are dominated by the main political parties, their money power, and other influencing factors specific to each constitution. If the political parties select the candidates based on their eligibility, there is no problem. The political parties are giving preference to the winnability of the candidates. Winnability means the financial capability, and the other factors specific to that constituency. Without the support of a political party, it is difficult for anyone to win an election. We find many of our elected representatives having criminal records. This party-dominated system should change to the election of worthy candidates. Coming to your points,
    1. An illiterate person may not be able to read but he can recognize a person from his photo. The absence of a party symbol will neutralize the money power of the parties.
    2. The photos on many of the certificates are not clear is due to the poor quality of the camera and the printing process adopted. It is very easy to get a candidate's photo with sufficient resolution and print a clear image.
    3. For every problem there will be a solution. A good idea is to be tried and make it a success instead of discarding it for some small reasons. I think a clear photograph of the candidate with his qualification can be printed if modern technology is applied. A small clear image can be printed and an arrangement to magnify it may be adopted.
    4. The number of candidates is a big problem and a solution for this also needs to be found. It all depends upon the Election Commission's reaction to this case and the judgment of the court.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

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