Covid effect: Only paper ballots for voting in monsoon session this time

The 18-day short parliament session will suffer delays as electronic voting system takes about 5 minutes whereas ballot voting takes about half an hour

Parliament
Photo: PTI

An unprecedented situation arising out of the corona pandemic crisis means that the Parliament’s upcoming truncated monsoon session will be a slow one, but without any weekend breaks. The monsoon session will be held between September 14 and October 1.

Instead of an electronic voting system, the members of parliament (MPs) will have to cast their votes using the traditional paper ballots. Needless to say, it is mandatory for the MPs to maintain social distancing norms, as a precautionary measure.

Electronic voting gives instant results and the process takes less than five minutes. The ballots, on the other hand, take at least 30 minutes.

Over the years, Parliament has taken to technology with efficient electronic system to cast votes on bills and resolutions. Paper ballots though still find use for MPs in a limited way.

“Recording of votes during Divisions, as and when required, will be held under Rule 367A as per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Lok Sabha by distribution of slips. Division slips will be provided to those members who are seated in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha chambers and galleries only,” said a notice of the Lok Sabha secretariat on Monday.

“Members will be supplied with ‘ayes’/‘noes’ printed slips at their seats for recording their votes. ‘ayes’ slips are printed on one side in green and ‘noes’ on its reverse in red, both in English and Hindi languages,” said the notice.

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“On the slips, members may record votes of their choice by signing and writing legibly their names, Division numbers and date. Members who desire to record ‘abstention’ may ask for the ‘abstention’ slips,” the notice added.

The Centre, already accused by the opposition of cutting short the monsoon session in the name of corona, aims to clear at least 11 ordinances, including three on farm sector reforms, and a few other pending bills during the short session.

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