Here are some reports of electoral malpractices from different parts of the world. Is there anything that these countries can learn from India to improve their elections? What would you suggest in each case?
(a)During an election in Nigeria, the officer in charge of counting votes deliberately increased the votes of one candidate and declared him elected. The court later found out that more than five lakh exercises votes cast for one candidate were counted in favour of another.
Answer: EVMs should be used and it should have a provision for making a paper trail of the votes. Vote data can also be stored on a cloud-based server for more transparency.
(b)Just before elections in Fiji, a pamphlet was distributed warning voters that a vote for former Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry will lead to bloodshed. This was a threat to voters of Indian origin.
Answer: The Election Commission should take stringent actions against responsible people and political group because this is a case of intimidating the voters.
(c) In the US, each state has its own method of voting, its own procedure of counting and its own authority for conducting elections. Authorities in the state of Florida took many controversial decisions that favoured Mr. Bush in the presidential elections in 2000. But no one could change those decisions.
Answer: All the American states should try to arrive at consensus and should shift to electronic voting instead of the ballot papers. This would help in removing ambiguity.