The Election Commission of India (EC) announced that the 2019 assembly elections will be held in seven phases from April 11, 2019 to May 19, 2019. In order to empower citizens during the Lok Sabha 2019 polls, the Election Commission has announced cVIGIL app as a pan India initiative. With the app, citizens around the country can record any violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) through their mobile phone and send it to the election authorities for appropriate action. The app is only available on Android for now and is being described as a simple, user-friendly and easy to operate mobile application.
“By using the cVIGIL app, citizens can record on his Android mobile and promptly to election authorities report any violation of Model Code of Conduct, any incident of intimidation or inducement within minutes of having witnessed them and without having to go to the office of the returning officer,” said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, reports news agency ANI. In order to report violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC), all one needs to do is “simply click a picture or to take a video and describe briefly the activity before uploading it on the cVIGIL mobile application.”
There is also an option where the complainant can remain anonymous, which adds an extra layer of privacy. The report mentions that the District Control Room allocates cVIGIL cases to the Flying Squads etc through a GIS-based platform. “The authorities and officials are duty bound to take action on it within 100 minutes,” Arora said.
The cVIGIL app is not just about reporting violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) but also facilitates the electors in identifying the candidates. The Election Commission has also added a provision for printing the photograph of the candidate also on the ballot paper that will be displayed on the EVM and on Postal Ballot Papers. This is done in order to avoid any confusion that could arise when candidates with same or similar names contest from the same constituency.
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The candidates are also required to submit their recent Stamp Size photograph as per the specifications laid down by the Election Commission to the Returning Officer. “As an additional measure to eliminate confusion in the minds of voters where you press the button in front of that there is a photograph of the candidate so that you make a conscious choice,” the CEC said in a statement.