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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Separate list, photo ID cards to check menace

Vinod Kumar, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 29, 2014
First Published: 11:41 IST(29/3/2014) | Last Updated: 11:43 IST(29/3/2014)

To prevent impersonation of electors registered at more than one place, the Chandigarh election department has put in place a system of checks and balances.

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Hindustan Times, on March 25, had highlighted the presence of over 10,000 duplicate voters enrolled at more than one polling station across the city. 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.

Likewise, no person can be enrolled as an elector more than once in any electoral roll. As per norms, it is the responsibility of the elector to keep the department informed of the change in residential address.

Joint chief election officer Tilak Raj stated that the department has come up with a procedure to keep a check on bogus voters. He maintained they are preparing polling station-wise list of such voters, and the same would be handed over to the presiding officers.

On the day of the poll, the residents whose name falls in such lists will have to produce photo identity card. The presiding officer will verify the identification document personally and maintain record of such electors apart from taking down their thumb impression. Wherever possible, such electors will also be photographed.

According to sources, majority of the people with dual votes lived in the periphery of the city, including the colonies.

The micro-observers have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that these instructions are meticulously followed.

Micro-observers have been appointed by the Election Commission of India to observe conduct of elections. Their job includes keeping an eye on mock poll procedures, presence of polling agents and observance of ECI instructions, observance of entry pass system and access to polling station, proper identification of electors, identification and recording procedures for duplicate voter’s list, application of indelible ink, noting down particulars of electors in register 17-A, secrecy of voting and conduct of polling agents, their complaints, if any.

The election for the lone parliamentary seat in Chandigarh will be held on April 10. The city has a total of 6.14 lakh registered voters. According to the final voter list, there were a total of 3.33 lakh male voters and 2.81 lakh female voters, out of which 1.71 lakh voters have been registered in the age group of 20-29 years. As many as 23,263 first-time voters are in the age group of 18-19 years.'

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