The Election Commission of India (ECI) said on Tuesday that political parties in India will get digital time vouchers through an online platform as part of an amendment to the current system for their use of government-owned electronic media during elections. A new website where the parties would be able to submit financial reports electronically, including donations, audited yearly accounts, and election spending statements, was created by the electoral authority a few days prior to this push for digital vouchers.
The ECI said in a statement that “time allotment to political parties on All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD) during election will now be online.”
This was accomplished by adding a clause that allows for the issuance of digital time vouchers using an information technology (IT) platform.
According to the ECI, with this facilitation, political parties would no longer be necessary to physically transport delegates to ECI/CEO Offices to collect time vouchers during elections.
The statement said, “This action reflects the Commission’s commitment to leveraging technology for the improvement of the electoral process and convenience of all stakeholders.”
For the purpose of ensuring fair access to government-owned electronic media during elections for campaigning, an equitable base time is allotted to each national and recognized state party of the state in question uniformly on DD and AIR, and the additional time to be allocated to the parties is decided on the basis of their performance in the most recent Lok Sabha or state/UT assembly elections, as applicable.
The precise time and date of the aforementioned telecasts/broadcasts shall be set by the authorized representatives of each party in collaboration with the ECI and in the presence of representatives from the political parties.
The ECI said that the implementation of an IT-based platform for the processing and distribution of time vouchers to qualified political parties enables a more effective and simplified procedure while improving accessibility and usability.