NEW DELHI: Delhi’s close partner Russia is seeking to learn from India’s experience in conducting smooth polls through EVMs — this, at atime, when the Opposition in India has raised the possibility of EVM tampering in the recently-concluded Assembly polls in five states.
Moscow, it has been learnt, is keen to learn from India’s EVM technology experience ahead of the March 2018 presidential polls when Vladimir Putin will seek re-election.
Russia will also assist in developing state-of-the-art tabulation system for counting of votes, according to persons familiar with the development. This system will also help Indian officials to obtain faster region-wise and group-wise polling patterns.
Nikolai Levichev, Deputy Chairman of the Russian election commission, in fact, visited Uttarakhand during the Assembly polls to get a first-hand experience of voting through EVMs. He later held wide-ranging consultations in Delhi with senior officials aacross ministries for cooperation regarding sharing best practices and learning from the EVM technology, informed one of the persons quoted above.
During his trip to India, Levichev visited Uttarakhand and closely monitored the electioneering process in four other states. Levichev, according to officials here, was impressed with the functioning of EVMs (that reduces the role of human factor) and has been keen to incorporate the technology for the Russian polls.
The presidential elections will be a mammoth exercise across Russia and the country’s Election Commission wants to ensure smooth functioning of the polls through the EVM technology, said another person familiar with the development.
This is not first time that Indian Election Commission’s service is being sought by a friendly partner. In 2014, when Afghanistan fell short of ballot papers due to overwhelming response of voters during the presidential polls, India had supplied Kabul’s election body with additional ballot papers.