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Lack of awareness, time to blame for poor response to draft voters’ list

Now there is little a voter can do even if his or her name is reflected in the wrong electoral ward in the final voters list

mumbai Updated: Jan 23, 2017 00:37 IST
Chetna Yerunkar
A revised final list of the names of voters will be uploaded on the BMC website by Tuesday.
A revised final list of the names of voters will be uploaded on the BMC website by Tuesday.(HT File Photo)

After the period for receiving objections to the draft voters list published on the civic body’s official website ended on Tuesday, a total of 139 objections were recorded by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Owing to the delimitation exercise that was carried out under the state election commission’s directives, the draft voters’ list was published for suggestions and objections on January 12.

Owing to a lack of awareness among citizens, the response to the list was low. To add to citizens’ woes, they were only given four days to check if their names reflected in the newly-drawn ward boundaries. However, now there is little a voter can do even if his or her name is reflected in the wrong electoral ward in the final voters list.

If a voter’s name is not reflected in the final list, this means the citizen has a lesser chance, or no chance at all of voting for their desired candidate on February 21.

The civic body had published two lists – a draft voters list and a supplementary voters’ list. The supplementary voters’ list had the names of the citizens who had registered as new voters between September and December 31, last year. The BMC received objections mostly to the supplementary list. Several objections, such as the names of voters being reflected in electoral wards they did not reside in, were submitted.

There are 2.39 lakh new voters that are part of the supplementary list on the civic body’s portal. Registration of new voters has taken the total count of voters in the city to 91,80,635. Devendra Amberkar, Congress corporator, said, “Andheri residents told me that their names were not reflected in the voters list. They said they were not even aware of what they could do next, as the civic body had not publicised this important exercise enough. This could be one of the major reasons why the BMC received fewer objections.”

A revised final list of the names of voters will be uploaded on the BMC website by Tuesday. A senior civic officer, on request of anonymity, said, “Necessary corrections will be made to the draft voters’ list. The updated and final list of the voters will be published online by Tuesday. We had also published an informal list, which was open to suggestions. During that process, our civic officials corrected a lot of errors. That is why we received fewer objections.” 

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