Says the apex court directed that ‘none of the above’ option be given to voters

The voters now cannot avoid casting their vote under the pretext that none of the candidates is worth voting for especially after the Supreme Court has directed a ‘none of the above’ option be given to the voters, Chief Electoral Officer Bhanwarlal said.

Addressing an audience of students and industrialists from the city here on Tuesday, he said now the onus is on the electors to go to the voting booth and wait for their turn and cast their vote and prove that they are a part of the democratic process.

In a bid to help increase the voting percentage, the Election Commission has taken steps to make the booth-level officers to go door-to-door a few days ahead of the date of elections and distribute slips to the voters with their details in the electoral rolls and indicating the voting booth, he said. He explained the eligibility to be a voter and the different forms to be used for different purposes like enrolment, correction of name and details and change of address among others. He urged the voters to help strike off the names of members of the family who have died and or are no longer eligible to vote due to migration or shifting to some other place. Booth-level officers would go door-to-door and verify the names of the voters.

The online enrolment ensures that there are minimal errors in names and other details of the voters as it is entered by the voter, he pointed out. He called upon the enterprises and establishments to set up a few dedicated machines for their employees to enrol as voters.

The Election Commission is taking all steps to enrol the voters and help them become a part of the most essential part of a democracy — the elections. The challenge is to enrol those who have just become eligible to vote, District Collector Solomon Arokiaraj explained. The process of enrolment has been simplified. The voters can also enrol online and some 30 per cent of the applications are received online, he added.

The district administration is focusing on ensuring that the electoral rolls are clean and error-free, the Collector said. Chairman CII Vizag Zone G Sambasiva Rao, CII director K Ganeshan, past president Siva Kumar and a number of industrialists and students from different colleges attended the interactive session.