Special Correspondent

18,688 registered voters surveyed in 19 polling booths Many voters do not bother to get their names deleted after relocation

Bangalore: Janaagraha, the citizens' participative movement, engaged 200 volunteers to study voters lists in 3,500 households in the city.

Among the 18,688 registered voters, spread between 16 polling booths, 9,228 (49 per cent) were found listed correctly. The remaining 9,460 had shifted homes and yet their names continue to appear in the "revised" voters lists.

The survey was part of the initiative taken up by Janaagraha in collaboration with Vote India and was named CIVIL (Citizens' Initiative on Voter Identification Lists).

This campaign was to make an assessment of the urban voter issues and was flagged off by the then Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy in Ward 14, Nagapura-Rajajinagar.

The Election Officers and Janaagraha took up a joint survey among voters covered by three polling booths and an error rate of at least 51 per cent was found in the voters' list.

Many citizens do not delete their names from the voters' list while relocating and while the forms for this and for inclusion in the list and a summary list for examination were kept over the weeks at many locations across the city, the response was poor.

Janaagraha volunteers have found that the process of deletion and inclusion of names on the voters' list is not that simple. The voter does not feel there is any ready gain.

There is severe apathy among citizens towards voting in general and its issues because of the political turmoil that is taking place, it was found.

Explaining Janaagraha's proposed solution to maintain accurate voters' lists, activist Meenakshi Bharath has presented the idea of an Area Sabha, similar to the gram sabha.