Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

The State Election Commission (SEC) on Friday started Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) training session wherein master trainers are being imparted training by experts to operate the voting machines.

As per reports, master trainers from across 15 districts attended the training programme today while master trainers from the remaining 15 districts will attend the session on Saturday.

As per the booth identification guidelines, there will be one booth for every 1,000 voters. In case the number of voters crosses 1,200, a separate booth will be set up. 

On February 11, the SEC decided to include the ‘None Of the Above’ (NOTA) option in the forthcoming civic body polls in the State in a bid to empower the voters to use their discretion while voting.

In order to facilitate the voters to cast their votes for electing corporators, councilors, Mayors and Chairmen directly, there will be two EVMs in each ward.

"Master trainers are being trained on EVMs for the forthcoming elections to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). These trainers will train the elections officers in their respective districts. They are learning the functions and operations of the EVMs during the session as NOTA has been introduced for the first time in the civic body polls," said Madhuri Mishra, Law Officer, SEC.

Mishra added, "Since this time there will be direct election for mayors and chairpersons, we are conducting extensive training sessions."

Rajendra Sahoo, Store In-Charge for the SEC, said “This is the initial phases of training. The master trainers will once again be trained in their respective districts. These trainers will further train officials involved in the urban body elections like the presiding officers and returning officers to ensure smooth conduct of voting." 

The SEC move comes as Odisha braces up for the ULB elections by the end of April. The elections to various ULBs will be held across 48 municipalities and 59 notified area councils (NACs), besides Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Berhampur municipal corporations. Around 4584 booths will be set up in 1931 Wards for the polls.