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543 parliamentary constituencies will come together on 16th May 2014 and decide the contender for the Prime Ministerial seat in Lok Sabha parliament.

Election Council of India has ensured that the voting is carried out in 9 long phases starting from 7th April 2014 to 12th May 2014. This year, ECI has launched a few IT centered initiatives to appeal to voters of all groups alike to cast their ballot and exercise their franchise.  Another initiative is to encourage more voters in the form of “Awareness Observer” across the country i.e. 2 awareness officers have been allotted to West Bengal who will visit each constituency and compile a report detailing the voting numbers and explaining the reasons for high or low voting patterns.

ECI has ordered 20k voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) systems to maintain more accuracy. Such systems are already experiment in Nagaland and Mizoram last year.

ECI had also equipped a toll-free number (1950) so that people can ask questions regarding the enrollment process, change of address and correction of mistakes. ECI also has validated SMS service for voters i.e. one can know his polling station by sending the EPIC number 98560-66666.

ECI has inserted “Find Your Polling Booth” option on its official website to find the exact location of the booth and its route. Voters can search for the booths by entering their electoral photo ID card number or selecting a district alongwith details like his name, house name and so on.

ECI has prepared a network ie. LMSA Live Monitoring of Sensitive Areas to use a van with a fixed dome camera mounted on the vehicle which be moving outside the polling stations and taking images of the movements outside the areas of the polling stations.

The above are some of the critical measures that have been taken by the Election Commission of India in this year’s Lok Sabha elections to ensure a free and fair election.

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