Election Commission of India has asked all district-level electoral officers to encourage voters to check their names and report discrepancies if any.
Though this is a standard practice during roll revision every year, the instructions have been given repeatedly this year, for a few reasons. The most important is that this is an election year. Secondly, political parties have accused the ruling party of influencing the electoral roll revision for wrongful gains. Thirdly Karnataka has not had rural local body elections in most districts and urban local body elections for over a year, that would have helped voters to check if their names are listed in electoral rolls. ECI will treat the complaints as feedback for the process of roll revision.
“This is an election year and we need to maintain the freshness and purity of electoral rolls. Addition of new names is being taken up at a faster pace than deletion,’‘ said a senior officer with election related responsibilities.
Addition of names of those who have just crossed 18 years of age, and a few who are old enough to vote, but have not registered themselves till now. Officers are going around colleges and distributing form number 6 (registration) to help youth enrol as voters. In Dharwad district alone, around 50,000 students have shown interest.
In some districts, Block Level Officers, who are mostly Anganwadi workers or school teachers are going door to door asking if all residents are enrolled as voters or no and asking them to enrol. They are also helping them fill relevant forms.
ECI officers are working with party agents closely. Every week, a meeting of DEOs, BLOs and EROs is held with party agents at the district level and at the district and constituency levels. Four meetings have been held in December.
In some districts, parties are less enthusiastic about the process, say officers. In Bellary, Vijayanagara, Uttara Kananda and Gadag, for example, political parties are reluctant to appoint booth level agents, despite repeated appeals. Some are saying it will cost money, some others are afraid that these agents may defect to other parties on poll eve, said an officer.
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