Assembly Election 2021: What is ENCORE and how does it help EC manage poll process; an explainer
ENCORE has multiple modules for processes such as candidate nomination and scrutiny, permission seeking (for parties and candidates), and election counting.
ENCORE (short for ‘Enabling Communications on Real-time Environment’) is an umbrella application developed by the Election Commission to manage the election process.
It has multiple modules for processes such as candidate nomination and scrutiny, permission seeking (for parties and candidates), and election counting. Booth App, which facilitates faster voter identification by using the QR code from the elector’s digital marked copy, is also a part of ENCORE.
Candidate Nomination portal
Candidate Nomination is the first input module which feeds into the Candidate Affidavit portal, Voter Helpline Portal, EVM stock requirement, counting data and results display.
Once digitised, the application displays candidate-related information like the basic profile, party name and their original affidavit. The returning officer uses the module to scrutinise the nomination and finalise the list of contesting candidates.
Once the candidate nomination details are entered in the ENCORE, unique system-generated candidate ID and nomination ID are assigned to each nomination.
According to the Election Commission, this module’s framework will be utilised in future to make the entire nomination process online.
Candidate Affidavit portal
Candidate Affidavit portal allows citizens to view the complete list of candidates who have applied to contest in the elections. To help the citizen to know the candidates, a complete candidate profile with photo and affidavit is made public after the returning officer enters the data. This portal, which was launched in 2019, can be accessed by visiting affidavit.eci.gov.in. The website lists nominee information under the following categories: ‘all’, accepted, rejected, withdrawn and contesting.
Users can access the names of candidates for particular constituencies by using the filter options provided on the homepage of the portal.
The Candidate Scrutiny application is a part of ENCORE that allows returning officers to scrutinise nominations. Upon verification, each nomination is given the status of ‘accepted’ or ‘rejected’. This helps the returning officer prepare the final list of contesting candidates and assign symbols.
While the returning officer is scrutinising the candidate application, the output of the Candidate Scrutiny application is displayed via Candidate app (for candidates), Voter Helpline and PwD App (for citizens).
The application removes the scope of any middle-man modifications to the data.
Election Permissions portal
This module allows the candidates, political parties or any representatives of the candidate to apply for the permission for meetings, rallies, temporary offices, and others. Candidates can also track their application status through the Encore web application and the Candidate App. This application replaced the old ‘Suvidha’ app and was integrated into ENCORE.
The counting module is an end-to-end counting application for returning officers to digitise the votes polled, tabulate the round-wise data and then take out various statutory reports of counting.
The application, launched in March 2019, has now evolved into a complete counting application wherein the returning officer can enter the votes polled on each counting table.
The module helps the officers do the work in a systematic way and bounds them to follow the procedure.
On the counting day, once the data is pre-checked, the returning officer starts the counting module by setting up the number of rounds scheduled. Then, as per the counting start time, the entry of EVM votes counted on each table is entered polling station-wise. After entering this data, it is mandatory for officials to take the printout of the TRV (table-wise recording of votes) for verification and signature. Similarly, the data for all tables in that round is entered and verified.
The returning officer then verifies the completed round’s data through RDF (round declaration form) and publishes it for public view. The returning officer also enters postal/ETPBS votes, which is also verified and signed before publishing.
The voting for Assemblies in Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry are scheduled to be held in eight phases—from 27 March to 29 April. The counting of votes will be held on 2 May.
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