Election Commission of India (ECI) has notified that record 60.14% turnout of service voters was recorded through Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) in 2019 Lok Sabha elections which was world’s largest democratic election process.
In the seven phases spanning 2019 Lok Sabha elections, a total of 18,02,646 postal ballots were dispatched electronically using flagship IT programme – ETPBS of ECI. In return 10,84,266 e-postal ballots were received indicating 60.14% turnout. This election had seen record highest enrollment of 18,02,646 service voters (electors). Voter turnout of service voters in 2014 was only 4%.
ECI for first time had enabled dedicated portal https://www.servicevoter.eci.nic.in for online registration of service voters. This portal had enabled sending postal ballots electronically one way to service voters to save processing time, resources and avoid human errors.
About Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS)
- It is flagship IT program of Election Commission of India (ECI) to achieve one of its mandate of “no voter to be left behind”. It was launched by ECI with the help of C-DAC.
- Through this system, service voters cast their vote on an electronically received postal ballot, from anywhere outside their constituency, thus reducing chances of losing the voting opportunity.
- How it works? The postal ballots are delivered to service voters in electronic data format to voters on a real time basis. These voters can download postal ballot and votes casted by will be received by the returning officer through post
- Security Features: ETPBS is fully secured system, having two security layers, with use of a one-time password (OTP), PIN and unique QR code on the portal.
- Who are service voters? Persons working in Central Forces under Arms Act and Government officials deployed in Embassies outside the country are classified as Service Voters and are provisioned for online enrolment. Of the total registered service electors in 2019 Lok Sabha election, 10,16,245 were from the Ministry of Defence, 7,82,595 from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF), 3,539 of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and 267 of State Police.