Bengaluru: In an attempt to make Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) tamper proof, the election commission has upgraded EVMs to Mark 3 technology and is using them for the first time in the country for the Karnataka assembly polls scheduled for May 12.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, District Election Officer (DEO) N. Manjunath Prasad said these EVMs have been manufactured by BEL and will be used in all 28 assembly constituencies. The Mark 2 EVMs which are available now, have the capacity to fit 4 ballot units each with 14 candidates. But, the new EVM has capacity to hold 14 ballot units with 384 candidates, he said.
The specialty of the new EVMs is that it accepts hardware manufactured only by BEL. Meanwhile, the filing of nominations will begin on Tuesday. After holding a meet with leaders of various political parties, Mr Prasad said that candidates can file nominations until April 24 for all the 28 assembly constituencies. As April 18 is a holiday due to Basava Jayanti and Akshaya Tritiya, no nominations will be accepted.
The IT department too has decided to keep a hawk's eye on the poll process and has nominated 19 expenditure observers to keep a check on expenditure incurred by the candidates for the assembly polls. To ensure that the model code of conduct is followed, 3 IPS officers and 14 IAS officers will be posted as general observers.
In a related development, the excise department staff have registered 622 poll related cases after conducting 903 raids while the police have registered 42 cases. As many as 238 officials have been picked up from both departments for these election related checks.