Voter ID card errors spell trouble for booth officers

Voter ID card errors spell trouble for booth officers

Citizens blame them for mistakes in their EPICs

In what can be termed the latest of problems plaguing the City during the electoral season, Booth Level Officers (BLOs) engaged at polling stations are having a tough time answering the queries of citizens who have received erroneous voter ID cards.

Chandrashekhar, a government school teacher deployed as a BLO at Chokkasandra ward, was taken aback when a few residents took him to task as they had received voter cards filled with errors, like mismatch of photographs, incorrect dates of birth and wrongly spelt names. 

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Chandrashekhar said: “Our job is to only help the public in filling Form-6 and collecting the documents required for registration of voter identity cards. We, in turn, hand them over to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, which later furnishes the required information in the cards. But the people would not budge and they blame me instead.”

Ramya T C, another BLO working at a polling station located at Nagasandra ward, also expressed similar woes and said that she had received five to seven complaints from residents of the ward regarding errors in voter ID cards. 

Over 6,000 BLOs have been deployed at polling stations coming under Bangalore Central, Bangalore South and Bangalore North Lok Sabha constituencies. 

According to the Palike, the Assistant  Electoral Registration Officers (AEROs) appointed at BBMP offices need to crosscheck the details of the submitted applications and approve them before handing them over to the data entry operators. The latter, in turn, feed the information to the system.  
Sharadamma, a BBMP data entry operator maintained that a few AEROs have not been able to cross check the facts due to lack of time, which has led to mistakes creeping into ID cards.  

‘Forms filled improperly’

One of the AEROs, under the condition of anonymity said: “Sometimes, citizens fill forms in a very haphazard and illegible manner. A few of them write in a language which we do not understand and need translations. While uploading their pictures online for voter registrations, they do not scan the photo properly.”

When contacted, BBMP Special Commissioner (Election), K R Niranjan said: “We cannot blame anyone. However, the errors found in voter ID cards can be corrected only after April 17 as the election process is on. People whose voter ID cards bear errors can still vote by bringing in documents such as passport, Aadhaar cards and birth certificates.”

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