For the first time, the official machinery in the State will distribute voter slips, containing the photographs of voters, to the voters concerned.

The distribution of slips would be carried out about a week ahead of the day of polling, according to Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar.

The slips would help voters know the serial numbers and parts of the electoral rolls and polling stations in which they had to exercise their franchise. The Election Commission, in its circular, directed the poll officials that such slips, generally known as booth slips, be printed in the language (Tamil) in which the electoral rolls were published for the respective constituencies.

The CEO said that political parties, which were hitherto distributing such slips, would also be permitted to continue with the practice. However, such slips should not carry images of party symbols and make any request or suggestion relating to the election. The slips should be printed in the colour to be specified by the Election Commission.

Naresh Gupta, former Chief Electoral Officer, said it was at the Bihar Assembly elections in October-November last year that this practice was experimented. The idea of the official machinery itself distributing voter slips could be traced to the recommendations of the Dinesh Goswami [who was Law Minister in the National Front government in 1989-1990] committee on electoral reforms.

In Kancheepuram, District Election Officer and Collector Ashish Chatterjee said it was decided to carry out the distribution through booth-level officers attached to 2,811 polling booths to be set up in the 11 Assembly Constituencies in the district.

“The slips will be distributed about a week ahead of the polling day”