Election panel gung-ho over high voter registration

77 per cent of eligible population finds place in City electoral list

Election panel gung-ho over  high voter registration

Call it the windfall effect of the efforts of the Election Commission or the heightened electoral conscience among Bangaloreans.

No less than 77 per cent of the City’s population (72.62 lakh people) aged 18 and above have registered in the electoral list, as on January 1.

In the last three months alone, as many as 2.11 lakh people have registered their names in the voters’ list.

Of the new voters, as many as 89,590 are first-time voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years.

The BBMP officials state that the Election Commission will be distributing the voter ID cards to these young first-time voters on January 25 at a function on the occasion of the National Voters Day.

The numbers suggest that Bangalore is home to one of the youngest voting population in the country with as many as 41.35 lakh voters below the age of 40 years. Only 8.38 lakh voters are in the senior citizens’ bracket.

As BBMP officials give themselves a pat on their back for the effort, there are still several anomalies to be resolved. The final voters’ list may not be devoid of duplications, admits the Election Commission. As suggested by the parties, the Karnataka voters’ list may still have duplication of names. Chief Election Officer Anil Kumar Jha told Deccan Herald that there will most likely be duplications and that they would be removed during the verification process.

“I can’t say there are no duplications. But the magnitude of duplications will not be that high, as portrayed by certain parties. They will all be removed when the verification process of our final voters’ list takes place,” he said.

The Congress had early last week stated that there was duplication of close to 11.59 lakh voters in the Karnataka voters’ list. Software malfunction has been seen in updating the change of voters’ address to another residence in the same constituency.

According to Jha, Form 8A for this purpose will be available at all registration offices.
“But the updating will be done only after the final list is published and the names will be transferred in a fresh format,” he said. The total number of new applications received across the State has touched close to 12.5 lakh.

It is said that the voters’ registration may touch ‘near total’ coverage, with Karnataka staring at no less than 70 per cent coverage. It is estimated that the total number will touch 4.4 crore names on the voters’ list.

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