Staff Reporter

Poll panel publishes draft electoral rolls containing voters’ photographs

Of the 4.08 crore registered voters in State, only 2.33 crore have obtained EPICs

67.99 per cent of total population of the State are voters

Bangalore: The Election Commission of India, for the first time in Karnataka, on Monday published the draft electoral rolls containing the photographs of the voters, who have been issued with elector photo identity cards (EPICs).

However, of the 4.08 crore registered voters in the State, only about 2.33 crore voters have obtained EPICs so far and only their photographs have been published against the name and other details of the voters in the rolls.

Special drive

While appealing to all the voters to secure the EPIC in the ongoing special drive to he held throughout the State till December 10, State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) M.N. Vidyashankar told presspersons on Tuesday that the space earmarked for the photographs of the voters have been left blank in case of those voters who had not obtained the EPCI so far.

He said the photos taken during the ongoing EPIC campaign would be incorporated in the final electoral rolls to be published on January 10, 2009.

Meanwhile, of the 2.82 crore voters, who have been issued with the EPICs, the photographs of only 2.33 crore voters were available with in electronic format with the Commission and the rest were not in usable status, said Mr. Vidyashankar.

He said the electoral registration officers concerned would issue individual notices to these voters — who have been issued with EPIC many years ago and their photographs are not available in electronic format with the Commission, asking them to take a fresh EPIC.

EPIC holders

According to the draft rolls, there are 2.07 crore male voters and there are about 2 crore woman voters. The draft rolls also points out that 67.99 per cent of total population of the State are voters. While Udupi district has highest number (85.14 per cent) of EPIC holders, Bellary has the least (35.35 per cent). Bangalore City, Urban and Rural together have around 40 per cent EPIC coverage, said Mr. B.V. Kulkarni, Joint CEO.

For the first time, Mr. Vidyashankar said, the ECI had made provision for the political parties to appoint booth level agents to verify the voters’ list and raise objection, if any.

To a query, Mr. Vidyashankar said the Commission had booked more than 2,200 cases of for various types of violations during the elections held to the State Assembly in April-May and all the cases were now sub-judice.