'Notice issued to 50,000 bogus voters'

The Delhi election office has issued notices to 50,000 suspected bogus voters, an official said on Monday. The city has 1.30 crore eligible voters and there is still time for new voters to get enrolled before the next elections.

Ahead of the Assembly polls in February, Chief Electoral Officer Chandra Bhushan Kumar told reporters, “We have sent notices to 50,000 voters who could not be found during physical verification.”

The CEO said that before arriving at any conclusion or fixing responsibility for laxity for the suspected bogus entries in the rolls, he wants to wait for replies from these 50,000 voters on why their names should not be deleted from the rolls.

He said the Election Commission has, as a special case for Delhi, given the power of suo motu deletion of names from voters’ rolls in an election year. “Normally, such a deletion is not allowed in an election year,” said Kumar, who has served as the CEO in Arunachal Pradesh.  

The figure of the 50,000 suspected bogus voters, who have been issued notices, was identified after using a special software to filter out voters with duplicate names and images in the rolls.

The election office first identified 1.2 lakh suspected cases of image duplication in the voters’ list. Another 88,000 probable duplicate names were identified using a software that tracked cases in which two voters had the same name, same name of father or husband and gender.

The CEO said people who want to get their names added to the voters’ list can do so, and those who want to check their names in the rolls can examine the list at the 11,763 polling booths on January 11. “The names can be checked on the election office’s website.”

Between October 10, 2014 and January 5, 2015, names of 1.59 lakh new voters have been added to the rolls, with 40,132 being first-time voters aged between 18 and 19 years.

At present, there are 72.6 lakh men and 58.24 lakh women voters in the city. There are 796 voters in the ‘others’ category, which includes eunuchs.

In the last Assembly polls in December 2013, there were 1.19 crore voters. The number of voters from Delhi in the Lok Sabha polls this year was 1.27 crore.

As on January 5, Matiala constituency has the maximum number of voters at 3.39 lakh and Chandni Chowk smallest with 1.12 lakh voters.

“Since November 10, 2014, the election office received two lakh new voters’ forms and 1.5 lakh online applications for addition to the electoral rolls,” he said.

Kumar said that to encourage voter participation, the Election Commission’s Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation programme will be expanded.

“We are planning to hold street plays at some Metro stations and put up educational banners at ration shops to encourage people to check their names in the voters’ list, and get enrolled,” the CEO said.

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