Mumbai: Over 1.2 million voters likely to be deleted from electoral rolls

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Representational picture. (HT Photo)
Representational picture. (HT Photo)
Published on Aug 08, 2021 11:17 PM IST
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By Surendra P Gangan, Mumbai

Around 1.2 million registered voters are expected to be deleted from the electoral rolls for being absent from their residential address for various reasons. The district collectorates have been directed to ‘purify the rolls’ by following the due process.

Maharashtra has 90.08 million voters registered to the electoral rolls across the state. Around 1.2 million voters were found missing from their registered residential addresses during the verification visit by the booth level officers appointed by the chief electoral officer of the state. Most of them had no photographs on their election cards. The chief executive officer (CEO) of Maharashtra on direction from the Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked district authorities to delete the names.

Of the 90.08 million registered voters, many believed to have multiple entries in rolls because of the shifting of the residences. The migration from big cities like Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Pune to neighbouring cities is more resulting in duplicate entries of the voters. “This results in the drop in the voting percentage as it is taken on the registered voters and not on the actual living in the constituencies. One of the reasons for the low voting percentage in Mumbai and Thane is the duplicate voters prevailing in these cities. We call them ADS (absent, dead and shifted) voters and take a regular drive to purify or cleanse the electoral rolls. This is one such drive,” said an official from the CEO’s office.

At 550,000, the highest ADS voters are in Thane, the district with a high migration rate. Mumbai suburban and Pune have more than 200,000 such voters, while Mumbai city and Nagpur have over 100,000 ADS voters.

By using software, the ECI delete the demographical similar names from the rolls from time to time after due verification. “We conduct two summary revisions per year for the addition and deletions of the voters and insist on the photographs of voters in the rolls. Dead persons are deleted from the list by obtaining data from the authorities concerned. Most of these ADS voters have no photographs in the rolls, which clearly indicate that they have not been staying at the address for long. They have been given due time to comply with the discrepancies and on their failure to respond, we have been deleting the names,” the officer said.

“We had 118,000 names without the photographs on the election cards in Mumbai city. On verification we found them missing from the address. After an appeal, around 1,000 of them have responded with their photographs and details within the deadline. For remaining voters, the deletion process has started. The names are being deleted by conducting punchanamas and verification from the neighbours and booth level agents appointed by political parties. Even if any valid voter is deleted erroneously, he/she will always have an opportunity to re-register by filing Form 6,” said Rajeev Nivatkar, collector, Mumbai city.

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Thursday, October 21, 2021