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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

10k duplicate votes detected

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 25, 2014
First Published: 10:04 IST(25/3/2014) | Last Updated: 10:09 IST(25/3/2014)

With Chandigarh set to elect its MP in less than three weeks on April 10, the UT election department has discovered that there are 10,000 duplicate voters who are enrolled at more than one polling station across the city.The fact came to light when the data was put through a software check.

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Under Sections 17 and 18 of the Representation of People Act, 1950, a person cannot be enrolled as a voter at more than one place. UT de puty commissioner- cum-returning officer Mohammed Shayin told HT that most people had enrolled at their current places of residence without getting their names removed from the voter list of the previous address.

He added that there was no mechanism to cross-check duplicity during the process of enrollment of voters. Sources added that the majority of the people with dual votes lived in the periphery of the city, including the colonies.

“When we make a new vote, we take an undertaking that the applicant is not already enlisted as a voter someplace else. If still, the information furnished is wrong, there are provisions to take legal action,” said the DC.

Surprisingly, he added that the department would not be deleting the duplicate votes as the process took time.

OPPORTUNITY FOR BOGUS VOTERS?
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) local chief Sanjay Tandon claimed that there was indeed a possibility that people with dual votes could cast votes at two places. He demanded that the administration should remove the duplicity and action should be taken these people.

In Chandigarh, according to the Census 2011 the net population residing in rural areas is 28,991 and in the urban areas is 10,26,459. According to election department figures, there are 5.87 lakh voters.

According to the guidelines of the election commission of India, Chandigarh should have a minimum of 63% population enrolled as voters, the figure at present is around 53%. If the duplications are removed, the number would further decline.

The election commission of India had recently asked the election department to explain the reasons the low enrollment. Youngsters were then found not to have any interest in getting enrolled as voters.

According to the final publication of electoral rolls, only 50% of the population in the 18-19 age-group are enrolled. The segment has 18,170 first-time voters aged between 18 and 19 years, of which 11,593 are male and the remaining 6,577 female.

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