Dip in total no of voters as officials try to add more

The number of electors has come down by nearly 4 lakh thanks to poor participation by youngsters, political parties and overburdened block level officers.

Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar said they received 17.45 lakh applications for inclusion, deletion and modification during the special summary revision of electoral rolls. “A total of 7.47 lakh voters were deleted from the list. This includes 4.7 lakh voters shifted to other places, 80,000 repeated names and 1.95 lakh voters due to death,” he said.

More than 7 lakh young voters entered the electoral rolls in the state which is being finalised for the 2019 polls though the number is much below the Election Commission’s target of 15 lakh.

The number has come down to 5.03 crore from 5.069 crore in 2018 Assembly polls. However, the exact numbers will be known only when the commission publishes the final rolls on February 22. As per the tentative data released on Wednesday, there were 3.82 lakh voters under the persons with disability category. Kumar said steps will be taken to help such persons to exercise their franchise.

He said there were 34,361 electoral identity cards without photos and efforts were on to issue photo identity cards (EPIC) to these voters. Similarly, there were 2.78 lakh names that had demographically similar entries which were being verified, he added.

40,000 left state

About 40,000 people have left various parts of the state for different reasons. Their names were in the electoral list but they have not obtained the photo identity card. “These are valid voters but are yet to get their EPIC cards, the offical said.

Online enrolment low

He said online applications constituted less than 1.5% of the 17.45 lakh applications. “We want more people to utilise the web and mobile platforms for various services. We will launch various programmes to spread awareness,” he said.

Officials said there was a dearth of block level officers, who play a major role in streamlining the electoral rolls. Even the number of booth level agents nominated by political parties was  not encouraging. While the state has 58,186 polling booths, BJP has appointed 14696, Congress 9497 and JD(S) 1038 agents.

“Political parties can help by appointing booth level agents, who can bring more voters to the list. However, we are yet to see an active participation from the parties,” the official said.

Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer Sanjeev Kumar clarified that no names were dropped from the electoral rolls on account of their migrant status though 45,000 names were deleted after verification found that they were not residents of the given place.

Officials verified details of 45000 names, following directions from the Election Commission, New Delhi, but found that they were dropped because of genuine reasons.

A petition was filed in Delhi after the EC website erroneously showed that about 45000 names from a particular community were deleted from the electoral rolls, indicating that they were dropped due to their status of being “illegal migrants”.

“Due to a software glitch, there was an error in the data showed. Following directions, we verified each of the 45,000 deleted names and found that only 30 of them -- 27 Nepalis and three Tibetans -- were deleted due to immigrant status,” he said. He said the other names were removed after a thorough verification showed that they were not residing.

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Dip in total no of voters as officials try to add more

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