New Delhi: National Voters’ Day is celebrated every year on 25 January in India. This year the theme of Voters’ Day has been ‘Vote Jaisa Kuch Nahi, Vote Zaroor Dalenge Hum’. This program will be organized across the country by the Election Commission. Voter’s Day started in the country from 2011. It aims to create electoral awareness among citizens and encourage them to vote in elections. Till now voting is done through EVMs across the country, and its results also come out in a very short time. At the same time, the Election Commission is also going to start the remote voting system. But do you know that for the first time in India voting was done on blank paper. Today we are going to tell you the history from blank paper to remote voting.
Election campaign was done by bullock cart (National Voters Day 2023)
The first election in the country was held in the year 1952. At that time there were no resources like today. Now even in the civic elections, the candidates go in queues of vehicles to fill the form and they are discussed from social media to newspapers. But during the first elections there were neither expensive cars nor social media. In such a situation, the candidates used to go among the public by bullock cart and used to campaign. Not only this, Netaji used to stay in the village where night fell and went ahead with his supporters the next day. Many old leaders have mentioned this.
You will be surprised to know that in the first elections of the country, there was neither EVM nor wallet paper like today. Earlier Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held simultaneously. Getting them done was a huge task. In the first elections, different colored ballot boxes were made for each party. Voters used to choose their candidate according to their wish. To cast vote, they were given a blank paper, which they used to put in these ballot boxes. That is, the way today there are many candidates’ names and election symbols on the ballot paper and one ballot box, it was not the same then. In the first elections, as many candidates as many ballot boxes were made. Statistics show that for this, 2 crore 12 lakh iron ballot boxes were made and about 62 crore ballot papers were printed.
Slight change in second election
The second general elections in independent India were held in 1957. At this time people had become more aware than before. Along with this, the Election Commission also made many changes in the electoral process. In this election, the name of the candidates and the election symbol were written on wooden boxes. But the ballot was still blank paper. Voters used to vote by putting blank paper in the box of their favorite candidate. Later on these blank papers were counted and the results of the elections came.
Ballot paper started from 1962
The Election Commission had understood that the process of making ballot boxes with the names of the candidates would not last long. In view of this, the Election Commission made a big change in this and for the first time in the 1962 assembly elections, the names of the candidates and the election symbols were printed on the ballot papers. Now the voters had to put a stamp in front of the name of their favorite candidate and put it in the ballot box. This process of election went on for a long time. Even today it is used in Panchayat elections in many places.
This is how voting started with EVM
After this, gradually there were further changes in the election process and the era of EVMs started. For the first time in the country, EVMs were used in 1982 in 50 voting booths of Paravur Assembly in Kerala. However, here the defeated candidate cited EVM as the reason for his defeat and appealed against it in the court. The court ordered re-election. After this EVM was not used for many years. But in December 1988, Parliament amended Section 61A in the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and the Election Commission got the right to use EVMs. After this, in 1998 it was used in 5 assembly constituencies of Madhya Pradesh, 6 of Rajasthan and 6 of National Capital Territory of Delhi. At the same time, from 2004, its trend started across the country.
Now preparing to bring remote voting system
Changes also took place after the introduction of EVMs. VVPAD is now integrated with EVM. In this, when you vote for a candidate by pressing a button in front of an EVM in an election, a slip comes out from the VVPAT. It tells which candidate your vote has been cast. Recently, the Election Commission also released the prototype of the remote voting system. It is expected that in the coming elections, votes will be cast through remote voting system.