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    • Remote voting for migrant workers: What is the plan EC has outlined
  • Fact File
  • What are the factors of production?

Remote voting for migrant workers: What is the plan EC has outlined

GS-2: Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act.


Recently, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has proposed pilot remote voting for domestic migrants. The move comes on the back of migration-based disenfranchisement. The successful implementation of this move will help migrants by allowing them to not to travel back to their home state to vote. The move is also aimed at boosting voter turnout and fulfils the dream of “No voter left behind”.   

The problem: migration-based disenfranchisement

  • Among variety of reasons that voters do not end up voting, domestic migration is a major contributor.
  • According to Census 2011, there are approximately 37 per cent of the population migrants in India, which have risen since then.
  • Approximately 85% of the internal migration is within the States.
  • There are also large chunk of population that is denied to vote due to work pressure or lack of travel resources.    
  • To overcome this challenge, the ECI has developed a prototype for a Multi-Constituency Remote Electronic Voting Machine (RVM).

The proposed solution

  • In 2016, a “Committee of Officers on Domestic Migrants” – formed by the ECI – had submitted a report considering various solution such as  internet voting, proxy voting, early voting and postal ballots for migrant workers.
  • Though, these ideas were rejected due to various reasons such as the lack of secrecy of the vote, the lack of sanctity of one person one vote principle, issues of accessibility for unlettered voters, etc.
  • Ultimately, a technological solution – RVM – was designed that helps to create a robust electoral roll and an identification mechanisms to stop duplicate voting.

Remote EVMs

  • The RVM is a stand-alone, non-networked system just like Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
  • Thus, it allow voters to vote remotely, in a safe and controlled environment.
  • It is a modified version of existing EVM developed by the Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and the Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL).
  • RVM contains following components – 
  1. RCU-Remote Control Unit
  2. RBU-Remote Ballot Unit
  3. RVVPAT-Remote Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail
  4. CCR-Constituency Card Reader
  5. PDCU-public display control unit
  6. RSLU-Remote Symbol Loading unit

  • It will able to handle 72 constituencies in a single remote polling booth by using a “dynamic ballot display board”.
  • Therefore, instead of the usual printed paper ballots, the RVM displays dynamic ballots that change each time a constituency is elected.
  • The Ballot Unit Overlay Display (BUOD) will show the requisite candidates based on the constituency number read on the voter’s Constituency card. 
  • To read these cards, a barcode scanning system will be used.
  • It is expected that Remote Voter verifiable paper audit trail (RVVPAT) will continue to work on a similar line on the VVPAT so voters can verify their votes.

Implementation of Remote Electronic Voting Machine

  • When there is an election in a home state of migrants, the special remote polling booths will be set up in different states.
  • The Returning Officer (RO) in the remote location will use a laptop, which is not connected to internet to upload candidate symbols to the unit.
  • To vote in their home location elections, migrants have to pre-register themselves with the RO of the home constituency either online or offline. 
  • On a counting day, number of votes for each candidate for each constituencies will be tallied and then result will be shared with the home RO.

Challenges related to implementation of RVM 

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Fact File

What are the factors of production?

  • Factors of production are resources that people use to produce goods and services.
  • There are divided into 4 categories – land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship.


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