Prelims Level
Mains Level
Prelims Syllabus : Polity & Governance- Elections and Electoral Reforms Mains Syllabus : GS-II- Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability, e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential; citizens charters, transparency & accountability and institutional and other measures.

Why in News?

  • In the recently concluded 2019 general elections, the Election Commission of India used Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS) for service voters.

Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS):

  • Persons working in Central Forces under Arms Act and Government officials deployed in Embassies outside the country are classified as Service Voters.
  • Such service voters are provisioned for online enrolment.
  • On the introduction of the ETPBS, there has been a record turnout of service voters. 18,02,646 were enrolled as Service Electors in 2019. This is a high of 60.14% as recorded by the E-postal ballot.
  • The number of service voters included those from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs (Central Armed Police Forces), Ministry of External Affairs and the State Police.
  • ETPBS is developed by Election Commission of India with the help of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
  • This system enables the entitled service voters to cast their vote using an electronically received postal ballot from anywhere outside their constituency. The voters who make such a choice will be entitled for Postal Ballot delivered through Electronic Media for a particular election.
  • It enables the voters to cast their vote on an electronically received postal ballot from their preferred location, which is outside their originally assigned voting constituency.
  • This system addresses the issue of time constraint for dispatch of postal ballot.

Who are eligible to avail of ETPBS?

  • Service Voters, other than those who opt for proxy voting (Classified Service Voters)
  • The wife of a Service Voter who ordinarily resides with him
  • Overseas Voters

Advantages of ETPBS:

  • It can be availed by service voters from anywhere outside their constituency.
  • It is easy and efficient.
  • It facilitates the creation of service voter electoral roll data.
  • It has two-layered security and is a secure system.
  • OTP is required to download encrypted Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot file.
  • Secrecy is maintained and no duplicate of casted ETPB is possible due to QR code.
  • PIN is required to decrypt, print and deliver ETPB.
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