Expect 2-2.5 million new voters to be added in Jammu and Kashmir: CEO
Chief electoral officer Hirdesh Kumar Singh said the number of voters in Jammu and Kashmir was expected to go up because the exercise to update the electoral rolls was being carried out for the first time after January 2019
JAMMU: The special summary revision of electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir that started in July is likely to add around 2.5 million voters in the union territory, chief electoral officer Hirdesh Kumar Singh said on Wednesday.
Singh said the number of voters was expected to go up because the exercise to update the electoral rolls was being carried out after a gap of three years. Also, he added, “post abrogation of Article 370, an ordinarily residing person can become a voter in J&K to exercise his right to franchise.”
An estimated 7.8 million people are currently enrolled as voters in the union territory.
“This is the first time that the summary revision is being done after January 2019 which means those who attained 18 years of age after January 1, 2019 will be added to the voters’ list and I anticipate that a massive number of voters will be added,” he said, adding that young voters, who turn 18 by October 1 are eligible to be enrolled as voters.
The booth level officers, electoral registration officers (EROs), and (AEROs) have been appointed for the purpose.
The union territory’s top election official said that the draft voters’ list will be released at every polling station on September 15. “October 25 is the last date for claims and objections. And, by November 25, final electoral rolls in accordance with 90 assembly constituencies will be released,” he said.
“We have added 600 new polling stations following the reconstitution of assembly seats and the total number of polling stations has now gone up to 11370 as of day,” he said.
The official added that an exercise to link Aadhar numbers with the voter’s ID cards is also underway.
“We will issue new voter cards with new security features to the voters,” he said.
“Before abrogation of Article 370, there were many people, who could not vote in the assembly elections in J&K but now they can also become voters… A person should be ordinarily residing in the UT. The electoral roll officer (ERO) and assistant ERO shall be the authority to take the call…. The persons could be ordinarily residing for a job, business, labour work, education etc. Therefore, to become voters, people doesn’t need to be permanent residents of J&K and they doesn’t need to be domiciled here as well,” he said.
It may be recalled here that before the abrogation of Article 370, West Pak refugees, Valmiki community and Gurkha community were not given voting rights for assembly elections.
“We have taken up a very challenging task and our aim is to come up an error-free Aadhaar-linked electoral roll by November 25. I expect 20 lakh to 25 lakh new voters are likely to be added on the basis of the 2011 Census population projector for the 18 plus population,” he said.
On migrant Kashmiri Pandits, he said that special EROs have been appointed for them in Delhi and other areas and that special camps will be set up for them.
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