If in the recent past you have been frustrated in your attempt to rectify your details on the voters list online, there’s a reason. For the past week or so, several citizens have been disadvantaged as the online corrections application has been disabled on the Chief Electoral Officer’s website.
With the Assembly elections round the corner, citizens are keen to ensure that their names are on the voters list. With all sorts of errors still blighting the list, voters now have no avenue to get their details corrected, said P.G. Bhat from Smart Vote campaign.
“Citizens are now being made to run from pillar to post to get their names included on the voters list. Though Smart Vote has brought this issue to the notice of the Chief Electoral Officer and the election in-charge officials of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), little is being done,” he said.
Mr. Bhat said Smart Vote had noted that a large number of duplicate entries had not yet been deleted. The range of errors on the list — including wrong age and sex — are bound to deny citizens their right to vote. He added that 8,000 records had been corrupted in the process of correction. “During correction, the details of a voter have been overwritten [with regard to] over 8,000 records.”
Moreover, many people who have registered during the past three to four months have not yet been included on the lists.
Vishal R., BBMP’s Additional Commissioner (Elections), conceded that errors may have crept in at the data entry level and that some 65,000 duplicate entries had been identified.
Conceding that the deletion of these duplicate entries needs to pick up steam, he said BBMP officials have to first conduct a field inspection and a panchnama (investigation).
He said that every day, some 10,000 inclusions are made to the list. “As of today, the number of voters in the 28 Assembly constituencies comes up to over 66 lakh. Voters can still contact the local ward offices to get their names included.”
A senior official in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, who did not want to be named, told The Hindu that the online corrections had been disabled to “prevent further errors”. He maintained that the percentage of errors was less than 0.5. Claiming that this was reasonable, the official said that the total number if errors added up to 1.6 lakh.
“There have been instances when citizens enter the wrong serial and card numbers and edit the details of other voters instead of theirs. By disabling the online correction application, we are avoiding the records from being deleted erroneously,” he added.