Long-pending demand of the electoral roll experts to introduce a software to trace electoral roll anomaly has been finally paid heed to. With the BBMP polls is less than a month away, the State Election Commission has come up with a special software to detect errors in electoral rolls including duplication, repetition of voters names with same photograph etc.
Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Commissioner G Kumar Naik who is in-charge of BBMP polls, said that the software has detected discrepancy in over 35,000 cases in BBMP election voters list. During cleaning up exercise using the software, duplication, incomplete details, missing photos were found out and they are now being verified, he has said. The total number of eligible voters in BBMP limits is 71.22 lakh.
The State Election Commission has fixed July 15th as the last date for enrolling names in the voters list. However, it is advisable for the citizens to enroll their names before July 8th. Once the names are enrolled, 8 days time is given for filing objections and claims. Voters enrolled after July 8th, though will be added in the electoral rolls, will not get an opportunity to vote in the upcoming BBMP polls, said an election officer from BBMP’s election branch.
Ensure your name is on voter list
It can be recalled that the Election Commissioner tried to modify the voter list, but accidentally deleted lakhs of entries, most of which were of valid voters. Their attempt to restore the deletion was unsuccessful and lakhs of voters had to reregister themselves. Hence it is adviable to check your name on voter list to ensure your name still exists.
- Check your name on voter list here: http://126.96.36.199/Default.aspx
- You can search your name by Search with EPIC Number. Or you can also search with name and other details.
- You can also check the captcha-protected pdfs by visiting this link and going to the required parts.
(At the time this writer visited these links, they were found to be offline, however we assume it might be a technical glitch.)
Those who wish to include / delete / modify their names in the electoral rolls can make it before July 15th. You can make the entries by visiting the nearest Bangalore One Centres (offline and online) or the BBMP ward offices, or register online at http://voterreg.kar.nic.in/
For more information, you can refer to the Citizen Matters electoral guide.
Activist takes exception to captcha-protected electoral roll
P G Bhat, a retired naval officer and an electoral reforms activist who has been constantly demanding for introducing a software to clear duplication in electoral rolls, takes exception to this. He is of the opinion that not just 35,000, but there are lakhs of discrepancies in the electoral rolls. His comments are based on the rolls that the State Election Commission has taken from Chief Electoral Officer – Karnataka.
Bhat has also questioned as to why the electoral rolls published by SEC in its website are Captcha-protected and are in image format. The electoral rolls uploaded in the website are not available to extraction and analysis, which is against the principle and spirit of open data, he said in his blog.
Referring to the direction of the Chief Election Commissioner to CEO-Karnataka when similar hindrance to access electoral rolls was caused in January 2013, P G Bhat says that the CEC had then directed the CEO to remove Captcha and publish the rolls in PDF-Text format. ECI directives require the rolls to be open documents in text format. Though the SEC does not come under ECI, the spirit of free and fair elections and access to data by public do not differ between local body elections and those for Assembly and Parliament.
Removing Captcha and publishing the rolls into PDF-Text format, will make electoral rolls searchable and also help analyse their quality. Citizens who are interested to do electoral roll analysis can help the SEC to get a quality analysis of the rolls. Bhat has also demanded that the SEC improve search features in the electoral rolls with some contextual help. Mentioning of relative’s name should not be made mandatory while searching in the roll because the data is not mandatory in the schema, he says.
Some of the other suggestions include, providing a facility in the SEC website for the voters to give mobile phone number and personal detail. If an individual fills this space, SEC or BBMP can send his or her voter record details through SMS.