The Election Commission of India (ECI)’s maiden effort to provide photo voter slips to all registered voters five days ahead of April 10, the polling day, has not been completely successful.
The official voter slip carries the name of the voter, photograph, father’s name, gender, house number, legislative segment, constituency number, and serial number of the photo electoral card.
Signed by the respective Electoral Registration Officer, the small slip also carries the name and address of the polling station, room number, date and time of polling, and the instruction that it can be used as an identity card.
The distribution of slips by Booth Level Officers (BLOs) had commenced on April 1 in all the 140 Assembly constituencies in the State. But it was yet to reach many voters on Tuesday.
The ECI initiative was aimed at taking more voters to polling booths, discouraging the distribution of slips by political parties, and preventing such material from reaching the booths.
The slips provided by the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Left Democratic Front (LDF) candidates reached the hands of voters before the BLOs delivered the ECI slips. In some constituencies, the party slips carried the election symbol of the candidate.
An election official in Thiruvananthapuram told The Hindu that directives had been issued to complete the distribution of the slips by Tuesday.
The BLOs had been taking up the tough task of locating houses and distributing the slips. As per ECI guidelines, officials should give the slip either to the registered voter or to an adult member of the family who is a voter. The BLO should obtain the signature or thumb impression of the person.
During the exercise, the absent/shifted/dead (ASD) voters should also be recorded by the BLO. The slips had been printed in good quality paper so that the photographs and entries were clear for quick identification and reading, the ECI guidelines said. The ECI had given wide publicity to the venture and the official website of the Chief Electoral Officer in the State had the name, designation, and even mobile number of BLOs.
The undistributed slips would be kept at a facilitation desk to be manned by the BLO concerned, outside each polling station on April 10. Voters could collect their slips from this desk on polling day, the official said.