Electronic voting machines reach India’s remote areas through bamboo footbridges and on boats

Electronic voting machines reach India’s remote areas through bamboo footbridges and on boats

From Jammu & Kashmir in the north to Telangana in the south, and from Mizoram in the northeast to Maharashtra in the west, 91 constituencies across 20 states in India will vote today (April 11) in the first phase of the seven-stage polls to elect India’s new Lok Sabha (lower house of the parliament).

Around 900 million Indians, including 83 million first-time voters, are eligible to exercise their franchise over the 38-day-long event. The process will involve preparing more than one million polling booths and nearly four million electronic voting machines (EVMs).

The integrity of EVMs has been a bone of contention in several elections across the world. India is only one among the 25, of 120 democracies that have experimented with or completely transitioned from paper ballots to EVMs.

Disputes aside, on the eve of the first phase of the polls, election officials and paramilitary soldiers reached remote areas of the country with EVMs and other polling materials—in cars, boats, and on foot.

Here are some images from the preparations for the elections that are estimated to be the most expensive in the world—and to likely cost more than the $6.5 billion spent on US presidential and congressional elections combined in 2016:

AP PHOTO/ANUPAM NATH
Indian election officials and paramilitary soldiers with election materials travel on a country boat across the river Brahmaputra on the eve of the first phase of the general election.
REUTERS/RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI
Porters carry voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines and EVMs through the Buxa tiger reserve forest to a remote polling station in Alipurduar district in the eastern state of West Bengal.
AP PHOTO/ANUPAM NATH
Election officials and paramilitary soldiers cross a makeshift temporary bamboo footbridge in Majuli, Assam, in India’s northeast.
REUTERS/ANUWAR HAZARIKA
Election staff carrying EVMs on a boat to reach remote polling stations in the northeastern state of Assam.
AP PHOTO/MAHESH KUMAR A
Indian polling officials gather for a brief before leaving for their respective polling booths in the southern city of Hyderabad in Telangana state.
REUTERS/RUPAK DE CHOWDHURI
Election staff check VVPAT machines and EVMs at a distribution centre in Alipurduar district.
AP PHOTO/CHANNI ANAND
Polling officers leave for their respective booths after collecting EVMs in Jammu.
AP PHOTO/MANISH SWARUP
Officials leave to their respective polling stations after collecting election materials for the first phase of general elections in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Source:- qz
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