An additional facility to get names included in electoral rolls will soon be available. The facility will be to enable prospective electors to submit their applications online for inclusion of names through officially-authorised private browsing outlets.

For getting this service, applicants will have to pay Rs. 10 per form. This will be for the first time in the country that the services of the private browsing centres will be utilised for online submission of applications regarding electoral rolls, a senior official in the State Elections Department says.

As scanned images of applicants also have to be sent, the browsing centres are being advised to arrange taking photographs of the applicants, the official points out.

Even now, prospective electors can submit their applications online for inclusion of their names.

Also, applications can be sent for objections to inclusion of anyone’s name or correction of particulars in electoral rolls.

The proposed arrangement is going to be formalised through agreements to be signed by the private browsing outlets and the respective district election officers/Collectors.

The Election Commission has also cleared the draft agreement.

Explaining the rationale behind the initiative, the official explains that the plan is to encourage more and more persons to file online applications. The route of the private browsing centres is being adopted as not everyone owns a computer, desktop or laptop. Last year, 25,000 online applications were received. In other States, there are e-Seva Kendras or Citizen Service Centres through which this service is provided. In Tamil Nadu, the concept has not yet taken off. Once the idea catches up here, the authorities will consider tapping such centres too, the official adds.

Sounding upbeat over the development, P. Murugan, secretary of the Tamil Nadu Internet Centres Owners Association, says that the Association has suggested modifications in filling application forms in Tamil.

“Our idea is to make the process of filling forms easier,” he says, adding that those browsing centres coming forward to participate in this venture should be issued authorisation letters. As the tariff for providing the service is reasonable, the browsing centres would display any official communication at a prominent place.