Electoral reforms before 1996

Q.  Which of the following were electoral reforms from before 1996?

1) Lowering Voting Age.
2) Voting through postal ballot.
3) Electronic Voting Machines.

- Published on 17 Mar 17

a. 1, 2
b. 1, 3
c. 1
d. All of the above

ANSWER: 1, 3
    Electoral Reforms before 1996 -

    Lowering of Voting Age -

  • The 61st Constitutional Amendment Act of 1988 reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 years for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections.

  • This was done in order to provide opportunity to India’s youth to express their feelings and help them become a part of political process.

  • Deputation to Election Commission -

  • A provision was made in 1988 which said that the officers and the staff engaged in preparation, revision and correction of electoral rolls for elections will be considered to be on deputation to the Election Commission for the period of such employment.

  • These personnel, during this period, would be under the control, superintendence and discipline of the Election Commission.

  • Increase in Number of Proposers -

  • There was increase in number of proposers for election to Rajya Sabha and Legislative councils in 1988.

  • The proposers (number of electors who are required to sign in nomination papers) for elections to the Rajya Sabha and state legislative council had been increased to 10 per cent of the electors of the constituency or ten such electors, whichever is less.

  • This was aimed at preventing non-serious candidates from contesting.

  • Electronic Voting Machines -

  • The use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in elections was enabled by a provision in 1989.

  • The EVMs were used for the first time in 1998 on experimental basis in selected constituencies in the elections to the State assemblies of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi.

  • The EVMs were used for the first time in the general elections (entire state) to the Assembly of Goa in 1999.

  • Booth Capturing -

  • A provision was made in 1989 for adjournment of poll or countermanding of elections in case of booth capturing.

  • Booth capturing involves -

    1. seizure of a polling station and making polling authorities surrender ballot papers or voting machines;

    2. taking possession of polling station and allowing only one’s own supporters to exercise their franchise;

    3. threatening and preventing any elector from going to polling station; and

    4. seizure of the place being used for counting of votes.

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