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EC strategy pays off as voters throng booths

india Updated: Dec 05, 2013 23:15 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Election Commission officials have attributed the high voter turnout in the five states that went to polls to primarily two things: weeding out duplicate and fake voters from electoral rolls and awareness campaigns launched by the chief electoral officers.

Delhi recorded 65.86% voting, the highest in assembly (or metropolitan council) polls since 1972, when 68.66% of voters voted for the metropolitan council.

Similarly, the voter turnout in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Mizoram was also at an all-time high.

The commission has the software that identified duplicate voters on the basis of parameters such as name, age, address and father’s name across India.
“The names of such voters were removed after home verification,” an official said.

The commission also conducted extensive visits to homes to find out whether those listed on the rolls were staying there or not. In Delhi alone, the names of about 13 voters were deleted from the list even though a large number of residents complained that their names were struck off wrongly.

In addition, the commission had launched Systematic Voter’s Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) with the help of civil society. As part of the programme, the commission ran audio-visual and live programmes to educate voters about the importance of electoral politics.

“The SVEEP was able to mobilise a large number of people for polls,” an EC official said.

High-decibel political campaigns in four states — Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — and the entry of Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal had also helped in a high voter turnout.

In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party created the political atmosphere much in advance, generating a lot of interest in the local population.

The Maoist attack on Congress leaders in the Bastar region in May this year has invoked a strong response from voters in the tribal belt, according to the Election Commission’s data.