Kerala parties mull online voting for expatriates

Thiruvananthapuram, July 9 (IANS) An all-party meeting here on Thursday discussed the issue of extending online voting facility to the Kerala expatriates.

All parties, save for the Communist Party of India-Marxist, gave the go-ahead for exploring the possibility of extending the online voting facility to Kerala natives settled abroad.

The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, however, ruled out proxy voting as no political party was supportive of the idea.

CPI-M leaders later said that while they had no objection to the online voting facility for the state’s expatriates, they were apprehensive of the technical aspects and needed to consult experts.

Online voting has been a long-standing demand of the Kerala diaspora, which is around 2.3 million though it is yet to be seen how many would be on the voters’ list.

The final electoral lists are getting ready for elections to the three-tier local bodies in Kerala which will be held in October since newly elected members will have to assume office positively on November 1, 2015.

As and when the political parties decide on the online voting issue, the Kerala government will inform the state election commission, which will take the final call on the matter after considering all the options.

The elections to various local bodies in the state will be held for 21,682 seats, of which half are reserved for women.

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