First-time voters try their hands at the 3D dummy ballot units | Kamrup district administration

To educate voters and ensure maximum participation in the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, Kamrup district commissioner and election officer Keerthi Jalli and Parameswar K Iyer of IIT Guwahati unveiled 3D dummy ballot units on April 22 at the IIT Guwahati campus.

The district administration has claimed this innovative project is being done for the first time in India. It seeks to familiarize voters, especially first-time voters with the voting process by physically trying out the dummy ballot unit, mentioned a press release.

DC Keerthi Jalli emphasized that in remote areas, where voters may be hesitant to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for various reasons of unfounded fears, these familiarisation activities with these units will serve as effective educational tools to boost voter confidence and participation.

The dummy unit resembles the actual ballot units used by ECI in voting. It has the candidate’s name and symbol mentioned. It is made of recyclable material and hence post elections, the units plastic can be reused for making something else in 3D printing. However, it is the size of a mobile phone for ease of handling and usage. The broader impact of the initiative is promoting and popularizing 3D printing technology across the country to make India a major manufacturing hub.

Although being brainchild of the district commissioner Keerthi Jalli, IIT Guwahati led by Ajeet Kumar, assistant professor at the Department of Design and team had brought it to reality in a matter of mere 48 hours through district administration collaborative efforts with Iyer. These were printed using FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) technology with polylactic acid (PLA) material, a bio-friendly and sustainable material made from corn syrup.

Ajeet Kumar explained that the concept was developed within 24 hours, and each unit took 3-4 hours to print with his students, Jayesh Vishwakarma, Daksh Sharma, and Sarit Raj of the EDP department. These units include candidate names and party symbols, emitting a beep sound when pressed along with a light bulb, mimicking the original voting process.

Parameswar K Iyer, dean of Public Relations, Branding, and Ranking at IIT-Guwahati, emphasized the technological advancements that can be made in the field of 3D printing and hence the significance of the collaboration.

The introduction of 3D dummy ballot units represents a progressive stride in electoral literacy and technological innovation, setting a precedent for future electoral initiatives aimed at enhancing civic engagement and democratic participation. The novel technology would surely create a buzz among first-time voters to go and try their votes.

“I was very excited to feel the dummy ballot unit in my hands and mimic casting my vote. I can now approach 7th May voting with more confidence” said Jyotika Das, a first-time voter.

The statement of the district administration further said: “This joint effort between Kamrup District Administration and IIT Guwahati signifies a commitment to technological, inclusive and informed electoral practices.”

The launching event was also attended by district development commissioner, Kamrup and nodal officer, Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Cell, Susanta Kumar Dutta; additional district commissioner, Kamrup Kamal Baruah; North Guwahati circle officer Mithinga Daimari, Boko circle officer (attached) and assisting officer, SVEEP Cell, Soma Roy among others.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Avatar photo
About TNM NewsDesk


The News Mill is a Guwahati-based digital media with focus on content from across Northeast India and beyond. We can be reached through [email protected]