Staff Reporter

Told to submit or take photographs before March 13

TAMBARAM: Voters of Tambaram and Alandur Assembly constituencies, whose names figure in the voters' list, but do not possess the Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC), have been asked to submit their photograph or get their digital images taken before March 13. Otherwise, their names would be deleted from the list, officials have said.

After elections to the Assembly and local bodies, the State Government started preparing the ``Photo Electoral Rolls'' project. The aim of the project, started in November last year, was to make sure that all eligible voters were in possession of EPIC to eliminate even the remote possibility of bogus voting in future elections.

Officials said the project was targeted at the residual electors those whose names figured in the voters list, but not in possession of EPIC. Though such persons were allowed to vote in the Assembly and local body elections, similar concessions would not be extended in future polls, officials said.

The project began with the preparation of `Checklist One' that had the names of all voters, but classifying them into those with EPIC and those without it. Subsequently, several designated photo locations were opened and officials also started a door-to-door programme to obtain images of the residual electors.

In Tambaram Assembly constituency, of the 8.72 lakh voters, about 2.6 lakh did not have EPIC, while in Alandur, 1.3 lakh of the 4.31 lakh voters did not have it.

A series of training programmes for field officers were held and dozens of digital cameras deployed in all areas to cover the residual voters.

The second phase preparation of Checklist Two (names of residual voters with their photos or digital images alongside) is in its final stages and officials have expedited the programme and recently conducted a training programme for 481 booth-level officers. Once this was completed, officials would prepare ``Checklist Three'' before the ``Photo Electoral Roll'' was published.

Final list

This would be the final voters' list that would have names and photographs of all voters. Based on this, the scheme of issuing photo ID cards would then start.

And residual voters of these two constituencies have been urged not to miss the door-to-door programme to find a place in the Photo Electoral Roll.

Digital cameras have been installed in the municipal offices and also in the Election Section of Tambaram Taluk office on the second floor.

If they fail to get their pictures taken before March 13, the names of residents would be deleted from the list under Rule 22 (C) of Representation of People's Act, the officials added.