Electors Verification Programme rolled out by Maharashtra State Election Commission
Residents of Maharashtra have been urged by the Maharashtra State Election Commission to participate in the ongoing Electors Verification Programme (EVP) by registering their names and the names of their family members in the electoral rolls. The EVP was rolled out on 11 November 2019 and will continue till 13 February 2020. The Maharashtra government is in the process of preparing a voter’s list through the EVP for any errors, additions, corrections, etc. The EVP is a special campaign of the Election Commision to drive literacy among voters and has the slogan ‘Electoral literacy will strengthen our democracy.’ A total of 8,97,56,928 electors are there in Maharashtra and till date, the election commission has received 2,42,94,623 requests out of which 7,65,606 entries were incorrect. So far, the commission has received 6,76,683 online and 88,923 offline forms. After this, the next drives will be held on March 7,8 and March 14, 15. The final list will be published by the state election commission on 5 May 2020. Booth level officers have been appointed all over the state by the Maharashtra government to ensure enrolments.
23 January 2020
IVECDC alleges derangement in electoral rolls in Arunachal Pradesh
IVECDC (Illegal Voters Enrolment Clean Drive Committee), the organisation that checks the validity of electoral rolls in Arunachal Pradesh has alleged derangement in the Yachuli constituency. The derangement in the electoral roll for the upcoming legislative assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh has been alleged in the polling stations of 8th Paniya and 18th Yablu.
IVECDC says that many voters whose name is present on the electoral list have not obtained the required No Objection Certificate from the election commission. The members of the organisation have also alleged that a single person’s name is published on the electoral roll multiple times with varying information. Despite many complaints by the members of IVECDC regarding the same, the state election commission has failed to take any action. The entry of bogus voters in the electorl roll is a worrying pattern which was also seen in Assam during the last legislative assembly elections that was held in the state.
IVECDC has had a meeting with the Chief Election Officer after which the investigation into the matter has begun. The AEROs (Assistant Electoral Registration Officers) and BLOs (Booth Level Officers) are working on the matter of verifying the names in the electoral rolls in the state. The state election commission has said that the work is currently in progress.
6 October 2018
EC ready to tackle any cyber attack threats to the electoral roll
The Election Commission has come up with new initiatives to tackle any cyber attack threats that the voters registration database might face in light of recent meddling in elections in countries such as the US. The initiative to tackle the cyber threat includes hiring of a Chief Information Security (CIS) officer for the whole country and a Cybersecurity Nodal Officer (CNO) in every state, modifications in the cybersecurity regulations, conducting seminars and workshop to train the election commission officers in cyber hygiene and third-party security audit of election-related applications and websites; and a suggestion to consider polls as ‘critical information’ under the IT Act, 2000.
As far as the voting equipment to be used in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is concerned, the EVMs and the VVPATs are secured from the threat of cyber attacks as they cannot be connected to any network and thus the hackers cannot hack them. Despite that with the so much reliance on technology by the election commission, cyber threat cannot be ever ruled out completely which has forced the commission to call for further safeguards. With upcoming legislative assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram the EC has been focusing on the security audit of their websites, SSL implementation. Non-disclosure pacts with agencies providing services have been signed. The EC has also come out with a disaster recovery plan if these websites and applications go down or crash.
5 October 2018
Electoral rolls in Karnataka to be moved to the national unified database
The electoral rolls in Karnataka are to be moved to the national unified database by the state’s Chief Electoral Officer. The move is welcomed by all sections of the society as it will help not only remove double entries from the electoral rolls but also make the process of transfer of voter enrolment from one state to another much easier. The project of moving the electoral roll to the national unified database has been put on a trial run in Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Mandya, Dharwad and Ballari districts of the state. Later, the election commission is planning to shift the project in other districts as well.
The project was started by the Election Commission of India 4 years back when every state in the country had separate database for the list of voters. This database was managed by the Chief Electoral Officers of the respective states via a software. The election commission transferred the database from all the states to the Electoral Roll Management System (ERM) which is a unified list of all the databases. Currently Karnataka is the only state that has not shifted the list of voters from the state database to the unified database.
Although the idea is to be appreciated, there are many flaws associated with it. Fake voter removal is something that is still not sorted. Also the quality of electoral rolls has been poor which resulted in low voter turnout in the recently concluded Karnataka legislative assembly elections. Also the software being used for the unified database is known to have made errors.
29 August 2018
Removal of name from NRC will not automatically remove name from the electoral roll, says CEC
The Chief Election Commissioner, OP Rawat has said that removal of name from the NRC draft that has been prepared by the government a few days back for the residents of Assam will not automatically mean removal of the name from the voters list. The reason for this given by the Election Commission is that the two lists are prepared based on different laws.
As per Rawat, the NRC is only one of the three documents which decides whether the name of the person should be included in the electoral roll or not. Other documents that can be submitted as proof to the election commission to get your name included in the electoral list are your birth certificate which should state that your age is 18 or older on January 1, 2019 and a document which proves that you are a resident of the constituency from which you want to get enrolled in the electoral roll.
Talking about the NRC draft, Rawat said that the people whose names have been excluded from the list will get a chance to file a claim or objection regarding the same.
8 August 2018
PM Modi Promises Better Accessibility for PwD, this Poll Season
In the upcoming poll season, Narendra Modi has planned added provisions for persons with disabilities (PwD), to be able to access polling booths easily. The Election Commission is also said to develop a smartphone app which will give information to people about the facilities in the booth, including drinking water, ramps and electricity. This information is based on the interview with Pramod Kumar Pandey, who is the Chief Electoral officer in Uttar Pradesh, for a programme aimed at voter awareness for PwD, at the Shakuntala Misra Rehabilitation University.
29 November 2016
CONGRESS OFFERS QUOTA AS ELECTORAL PROMISE
The Congress party has announced that it will be providing reservations for communities as its main electoral offering for states going in for elections within the next two years, these states include Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka. The promise of reservation fits in with Congress’ idea of inclusive growth as the number of educated youth in marginalised communities has increased. After a meeting between Most Backward Classes (MBC) leaders and the vice-president of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party on Saturday announced that it will be providing a quota within the quota to MBCs in Uttar Pradesh, if elected. On the same day Karnataka Chief Minister K. Siddaramaiah said the state is considering increasing the ceiling limit for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) in education and employment to over 50% taking the population of the state into consideration.
03 November 2016
Electoral Drive in Delhi: Newly Registered Voters to get Smart ID Cards
The state Election Commission (EC) in Delhi has announced the date of publication of final electoral roll as Janurary 10. In addition to that, the draft electoral roll has been published and voters can file their claims and objections within a month. EC has also urged citizens in the age bracket of 18 to 19 years to come forward and register as voters. The Election Commision is currently focusing on replacing old voter cards with new ones that are similar to smart cards. However, the large number of voters in the capital makes it a difficult task. The newly issued voter cards will have additional security features and will be entirely different from the regular laminated cards.
17 October 2016
Publication Of The Final Electoral Roll On January 10
The process for the revision of the voter’s list has already been initiated by the state election commission. According to their new rule, the old laminated electoral photo identity cards will now be replaced by smart plastic cards. This smart card will contain the photograph of the individual, hologram and other security features to prevent misuse of the card.
Chandra Bhushan Kumar(chief electoral officer of Delhi) has announced that the individuals who already hold the old laminated card need not apply again but those who are applying for replacement will have to adhere to these new guidelines and issue a smart card after paying a fee of Rs.25. He has also asked the voters to file any kind of complaints or objectification they have within a month itself as the revision process will get over by December 24. The final voter’s list will be published on January 10, 2016.
A month long enrolment drive have also been planned by the election department in an effort to add new voters especially in the age group of 18-19 years. Also, special enrolment camps will be launched for the homeless and migrant labourers. There has also been talks of organizing street plays in various educational institutions on electoral participation.
7 October 2016
Correction Drive for Electoral Roll Launched in Gujarat
A drive was started today by the Chief Electoral Officer for Gujarat in order to update and correct the current electoral roll. There are over 4.17 crore electors registered across the state and Assembly polls are due next year. A draft electoral roll was published today under the Special Summary Revision drive and placed at numerous polling booths, civic centres and other public places throughout the state, so that voters can verify their names.
Currently, as per a draft roll, Gujarat has more than 4 crore voters who have registered including 2.18 crore male voters, 1.99 crore female voters and around 476 third gender voters. This drive will continue until the 14th of October and new voters can also give in their applications at over 48,000 booths. A Booth Level officer will remain present at these booths.
As per the current rules, having a Voter ID is not enough for people to vote, their names must also be present in the electoral roll on the day of polling. Customers can also visit the website of the Chief Electoral Officer of Gujarat during the drive and correct/delete their names from the draft roll.
Following the release of this notice, automobile manufacturers are reportedly unhappy with these new norms.
22 September 2016