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Lok Sabha Election 2019: Election Commission's 'Voter Turnout' app yet another step to provide real-time information to citizens

In yet another innovation in real-time information dissemination, the Election Commission of India has released a “Voter Turnout” app. People can check the estimated voter turnout in real-time using this app.

Currently available on Google Playstore, citizens need to have a smartphone running on Android 4.4 KitKat or above to use the app. Since its release, the app has been downloaded over 50,000 times.

As India enters the fourth round of polling on 29 April, here is all you need to know about the Voter Turnout app and the data feeding process.

 Lok Sabha Election 2019: Election Commissions Voter Turnout app yet another step to provide real-time information to citizens

Women voters queue up to cast their votes at a polling station in Ahmedabad. PTI

Timely information to users

The Voter Turnout app will provide citizens with the estimated voter turnout at a particular point of time. According to the Election Commission, the app is designed to provide not only the estimated voter turnout for every Lok Sabha constituency but also for the Assembly segments under it.

For example: A user will be able to check out the estimated voter turnout in Mumbai South Lok Sabha constituency as well as the six Assembly segments that fall under its jurisdiction.

The data feeding process

The Assistant Returning Officers (ARO) in every Lok Sabha constituency provide the data on the estimated voter turnout. The officers have to provide the information after every two hours during the course of the polling in a parliamentary constituency.

As per the Election Commission's guidelines, the ARO or Returning Officer has to provide the voter turnout figures for 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm.

“The AROs and Returning Officers should be clearly directed that they are personally held responsible for voter turnout data entry,” the Election Commission states on its website. Ultimately, these officers are also responsible for sending the final voter turnouts.

The AROs and Returning Officers feed their data into the app Voter Turnout app through the ‘Suvidha Admin’ app, the Election Commission said. All AROs and Returning Officers have access to this app across the country.

Every ARO has been allotted a particular time period for entering the data. For the 9 am report, officers have been allotted time between 7.30 am and 9.30 am. Similarly, the 11 am report needs to be tabulated before 11.30 am. This process goes on till the 5 pm report is out. The ‘Close of Poll’ data, which tabulates the final estimated poll percentage, can be filled anytime after 3 pm and is not bound by a deadline.

It is to be noted that Odisha, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh held their Assembly elections simultaneously with the Lok Sabha election. Voting in Odisha will conclude with Phase 4 on Monday, while Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh voted in the first phase on 11 April.

Keeping the simultaneous polls in mind, the Election Commission said the Returning Officer of the assembly constituency will not enter any data separately, and that the ARO's entry for the parliamentary constituency will be considered for both elections.

After the polls close, the officers will release the figures for the final voter turnout. These numbers include the total male, female and third gender electors who voted in a Lok Sabha constituency. The app also provides details such as the exact number of voters in every Assembly segment of a Lok Sabha constituency.

The Election Commission also states that these figures will be compared with the corresponding figures of the 2014 general election.

At present, users can access the final voter turnout figures for the seats that went to polls in Phase 4. The results of the final voter turnout are only displayed once they are approved by the Chief Electoral Officer of the state.

A push towards transparency

The Voter Turnout app is another attempt by the Election Commission of India to make the electoral process smooth and transparent. In March 2019, it had released the CVigil app, which empowers citizens to report cases of violations of the Model Code of Conduct.

Since its release, over 1.24 lakh cases of violation of the Model Code of Conduct have been reported. Kerala leads with over 64,000 complaints, while Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal are the second and third biggest source of complaints.

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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2019 14:19:59 IST