Election Commission of India on 29 January 2014 directed the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of states to use cardboard or flex board that are opaque and reusable for making of the voting compartments at polling stations. The direction was issued because of the use of poor quality and transparent cloth material in the poll booths for making of compartments. The Commission in its direction has barred use of flimsy material in setting up the voting compartments.
In its direction, the Commission has said that secrecy maintenance is necessary for the votes casted during the upcoming general elections of 2014. It said that the compartments shall be in three folds, each fold having minimum dimension of 23"X23". It has also ordered to Chief Electoral Officers to review the arrangements with their District Election Officer.
The commission also observed that till now Standard procedure of erecting, the voting compartments have not been followed. It also observed that at many polling stations, compartments that provide specific secrecy during the voting process has not been maintained.
The commission in its order has also directed the DEOs/CEOs to complete the review by 5 February 2014. It has directed to the DEOs to furnish a certificate in the matter to the CEO and these CEOs should furnish a consolidated report to the commission by 7 February 2014.
Background: Earlier also, the Commission has issued guidelines related to materials that should be used along with their dimensions in the voting compartment. In its findings the Commission found that in many polling votes the compartments were not erected in a desirable manner and at some places it was not of sufficient height. It also found that at some places cloths of poor quality along with transparent flimsy materials were used in making of the voting compartments.