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Canara High School in Mangalore goes hi-tech

Staff Correspondent

Students to elect leader through electronic voting


  • Electronic voting machines spurred idea
  • Simple user interface
  • Paperless voting
  • Quick announcement of results
  • Elimination of invalid votes

    MANGALORE: When the 1,000-odd students studying in classes six to ten at Canara High School Main, Dongerkery, elect their school pupil leader and assistant school pupil leader here on Saturday, they will create history. These students will probably be the first batch of students in the State to elect their leaders through electronic voting or e-poll.

    The move by the Election Commission of India to introduce electronic voting machines for the general elections in the country is the catalyst that spurred the headmaster of the school, S. Umesh Mallya, to think of a similar system for his school elections.

    Explaining the system here on Thursday, Mr. Mallya said e-poll is a simple application that enables elections to be held using computers. E-poll is a stand-alone application, which is designed using Visual Basic 6.0 to provide graphic user interface and Microsoft Access. This in-house application can be modified and used elsewhere, he said.

    Complimenting Ujwal Mallya, Harusha Shenoy and Venkatesh Pandit, alumni of Canara institutions, presently doing their final year BCA in SDM College of Business Management here, for developing the system, Mr. Mallya said its main features are its simple user interface, paperless voting, quick announcement of results and elimination of invalid votes.

    Students sign on a nominal roll and enter a `booth' where a computer is kept. They have to click against the name (photograph incorporated alongside) of the student whom they want to elect leader and repeat the process for the election of the assistant leader. A beep indicates that the vote has been cast. The screen then becomes inactive for 30 seconds.

    Since there will be six such `booths,' the election process can be completed in 80 minutes. Teachers will then access the database and compile the results, which will then be tabulated and the final results declared. If we have a local area network, this process will be instantaneous, Mr. Mallya said.

    System to be upgraded

    The school has plans to upgrade the system. Students will be given smart cards and they can vote in designated booths set up outside the school. Since the school has students coming from Udupi and other places, this system will enable them to vote in case they are unable to come to the school on the day of voting, he said.

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