By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 9: The ballot on the electronic voting machines for the upcoming two-phase Assam assembly elections will have the photos of contestants, in addition to their mes and symbols which alone figured till the last general elections.
The two-stage polls will be held on April 4 and 11.
The photographs will be used to avoid confusion among voters to identify their candidates. Moreover, it will assist the illiterate section to cast their votes against the right candidate.
"In the last few elections, it was seen that there were many candidates of the same me, which created confusion among voters. The matter was also taken to the Supreme Court. We believe that the voters should know and be able to identify their candidates. That's why we have decided to use photos on the EVMS," said an election commission official.
Following a Supreme Court directive, the Election Commission issued a notification last year, according to which the photographs of candidates should also be printed on ballot papers, postal ballot papers and on EVMs for polls after 1 May, 2015.
The recent Bihar polls was the first complete State elections where photographs of candidate were displayed on the EVM.
Photographs were first used in by-elections held in June for six constituencies in Tripura, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tamil du. The photo of candidates will appear between the me and election symbol on the ballot sheet and EVM.
In designing the new photo ballot papers, the EC has asked candidates to supply stamp-sized recent photograph with certain specifications to returning officers.
Meanwhile, altogether 3,000 Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail systems have arrived in the State and the first round of checking has been conducted. The EC will use 2,400 VVPAT systems in ten constituencies, while keeping 600 others as stand-by.