Moves on to find duplicate entries in Kerala electoral list by March 30

Moves on to find duplicate entries in Kerala electoral list by March 30
Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena has sought a final report from District collectors on any irregularities, including multiple entries of voters' in the electoral rolls of all the 140 Assembly constituencies.

The reports should be submitted before March 30, the CEO said. Lists containing multiple entries will be distributed among polling officials and political parties.

Those voters whose names have been duplicated in the list will be under surveillance on polling day. They will have to remain the polling booth until the indelible election ink on their fingers dries.

The CEO has asked to prepare lists of duplicate voters using the Aeronet Software Logical Error System. Voters list at local level will be given to booth-level officers. The officers, while distributing the voters’ slips, should conduct field-level scrutiny of voters based on the list, and submit a list of real voters by March 30.

Officials, however, remained sceptic. They felt that the software would not be effective in case of same names duplicated in different constituencies.

Identify bogus voters, polling officers told

Polling officers are responsible for identifying bogus voters even if the polling agents do not raise any objection, CEO said. The officers concerned will face action if bogus voting is found. Action will also be taken if they fail in avoiding the irregularities in the electoral rolls.

Though the Election Commission has confirmed the allegation of multiple entries raised by Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala, a few questions remain unanswered:

1. If Aeronet Software could find the duplication, why was it not used so far?

2. The Commission is now cleaning-up the voters’ list based on lists handed over by the opposition leaders. What will it do if more such complaints are later received?

3. Why is the ruling front mum despite the confirmed irregularities in the voters’ list?

CEO Meena said the voters need not scrutinize the list to find if their names have been duplicated. “But those who have submitted more than one application for adding their names to the electoral roll, should check if multiple entries have been made.

Can voters check for multiple entries themselves?

No, voters cannot check for themselves. They need to seek the help of booth-level officers or approach the tahsildar.

What should the voter do if his/her name has been duplicated in the list?

Authorities will remove the duplicate entry. The voters need not do anything.

Will the voter be held responsible in case of multiple entry?

No action will be initiated against the voters since they did not do it on purpose. However, action will be taken if they indulge in bogus voting.

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