Staff Reporter

Coimbatore: The summary revision of electoral rolls with January 1, 2008 as the qualifying date would begin in the first week of November 2007 as scheduled by the Election Commission and would get over by January 10, Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta said on Saturday.

He was speaking to media persons after a review meeting with the District Election Officers/Collectors of seven districts in the western zone and said that such meetings would be held for south, central and north zones shortly. The meeting also discussed the preparation of photo voter rolls as well as Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC).

As far as the preparation of photo voter rolls were concerned the State average stood at 95 per cent. Chennai which recorded 79 per cent because of the loss of images and mismatches was putting in efforts to enhance the coverage while Coimbatore was improving from 89 per cent. Mr. Gupta said that non-availability of people at their houses or photographs when the staff visited door to door was the reason for not being able to achieve 100 per cent EPIC coverage.

The State achieved a 93 per cent EPIC coverage and the remaining 7 per cent was largely due to the supplementary electoral rolls. The printing of EPIC was under way for the voters in the supplementary rolls.

He expressed confidence on the percentage improving since the images captured/collected for electoral rolls could be used for EPIC cards as well, he said. Of the 12.71 lakh claims received for inclusion in the electoral rolls, Mr. Gupta said 9.21 lakh claims were accepted and the rest were treated as rejected.

Tender process

This led to the electoral population going up by 2.37 per cent and was equally distributed among the male and female voters. Mr. Gupta said that an EPIC centre for every Assembly constituency would be opened in two months and the tender process for the same was under way. Once the EPIC centres come in voters could have their cards replaced for spelling mistakes or address change.

With regard to the change of constituencies arising out of the delimitation exercise, Mr. Gupta said steps would be taken for replacing the EPIC cards but no decision had been taken yet on the issue of whether those replacement cards would be charged or not. On the facility of online inclusion in electoral rolls, Mr. Gupta said for the verification of the genuineness of the claim as well as for the signature of the applicant, personnel would have to visit the voter, thus the system introduced last year failed to get good response.