Biometric scanners to be used for elections


Biometric scanners will be used extensively in all forthcoming elections in Goa, to establish the identity of voters, beginning with the Ponda municipal council elections, scheduled for February 2013. 
After successful implementation of poll monitoring system (PMS) for March 2012 assembly elections, the district administration is proposing to carry forward the experiment. North Goa district collector Mihir Vardhan said that the State aims to make use of PMS in all forthcoming elections. 
 “We are also planning to make use of biometric scanners to establish ID of voters, with only two poll personnel manning the polling booth. This would result in financial and manpower savings,” he said. Vardhan said that the proposal is under consideration of the State Election Commission. 
Goa was the first state in the country to implement PMS at the assembly elections. Vardhan said that the system would also be adopted at Parliamentary elections, scheduled for 2014. 
Meanwhile, the Goa PMS has won the Computer Society of India (CSI) national e-governance award for 2011-2012. The PMS software has been designed and developed by Goa Electronics Limited. 
Using PMS, election officials managed to capture the fingerprints and photographs of 98.8 percent of the total 8,31,070 Goan electors who voted. A total of 1,700 laptops were used along with web cameras and fingerprint readers in all of the 1,612 polling stations. One of the objectives was to prevent bogus voting or impersonation.
“PMS enabled us to monitor the poll day and the pre-poll day events online. There was continuous flow of information from the polling stations to the central server in Panjim. Not only were the polling stations connected to a central server in Panjim, the full system was connected to the Election Commission of India servers in New Delhi,” Varhdan disclosed.  [H]