100 per cent photo electoral rolls will drastically reduce bogus votes
Declaring that “we are all set” , Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev on Wednesday enumerated several “firsts” that have been implemented by his office to ensure that the upcoming elections are more participative. Among the “historic firsts” is going to the polls with a 100 per cent photo electoral roll that will drastically reduce bogus votes, marking the coordinates of polling stations across the city on Google map, training senior police officers and appointment of “ambassadors” in educational institutions to encourage students to enrol in the voters’ lists.
As per the electoral rolls published earlier this week, around 3.49 lakh first-time voters in the age group of 18 to 19 will be able to exercise their franchise in the upcoming elections slated for November. This makes up 3.04 per cent of the total electorate which is estimated at 1,14,88,752. Voting will take place in 11,763 polling booths in 2,603 locations of which 634 locations have been identified as “critical” and special security measures will be put in place in these areas. A total of 7,249 homeless people have also been enrolled in the voters’ list this time.
Mr. Dev said even though the final electoral roll has been published, the Election Commission will continue updating the electoral rolls till 10 days before the last date of filing nominations. “Electors can continue to apply for registration of names till 10 days before the filing of nominations,” he said. “Any complaints or cases of duplicate, replicated or expired voters will be verified and a list termed ‘Absent, Shifted and Dead Voters (ASD List)’ will be prepared polling station-wise. Special checks will be carried out on the day of polling,” he added.
The electoral roll also has 154 electors who are over 100 years old and has 68,392 electors between the age group of 80-100 years. “The de-duplication software, that is being used, has been able to verify 3.85 lakh probable errors relating to incomplete information and wrong age or relationship,” said Mr. Dev. The Office of the CEO has also been able to prepare an online database of all civil and police officers who will be engaged in election duties. “The database will be used to ensure that they are all first enrolled with us and their facilitation through use of postal ballots,” he said.
Special arrangements are being made at polling stations to facilitate a pleasant experience for voters by putting in sheds, ramps, restrooms, drinking water and other facilities, said Mr. Dev. “We are going to ensure that urban apathy is minimised and voter turnout is increased by taking a multi-pronged approach,” he said.