Torture of Elector Data

 “And do not cloak (and confuse) the truth with falsehood. Do not suppress the truth knowingly.” We are not to lie, even if this might win us an advantage.      Quran(2:42)

Background

An article by Dr Abusaleh Shariff and Mr Khalid Saifullah in EPW on 23 May 2018, made allegations of bias against Muslims and Dalits by wantonly deleting their names from the electoral rolls. With my analyses of the data on Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka (CEO-KA),  website, in a meeting at the office of CEO-KA on 07 Nov 2018, I showed to Dr Shariff that there was no bias against Muslim voters.  He had then agreed with me.  I thereafter met Dr Shariff and his colleague Mr Zameer Pasha twice more and discussed the matter. I also wrote about my findings to them, allaying the fear of targeted exclusion of voters from specific communities.

While there was no response from them, similar inconsistent arguments about the exclusion of Muslim and Dalit voters are being published in several national and international journals and newspapers.  See some links at scroll.inFrontlineCaravan, Foreign Policy, and Vartha Bharathi. We find a dozen other such links. There are also several YouTube links to talks by Mr Saifullah emphasising these points.

The latest one is an article in Aljazeera with a tagline “Activists say 40 million Muslims and 30 million Dalits not on electoral rolls, raising fears of targeted suppression”, authored by Ashish Malhotra and published on 30 Apr 2019.

Discussion

Applying the logic used by the ‘researchers’ quoted by Aljazeera, we can also infer that more than 267 million non-Muslim voters are excluded from the electoral rolls of the country. Census reports of 2011 state that 41.1% of Indians are below 18. The current population of India is 136 crores  This makes about 80 crore citizens eligible to be in the electoral rolls.  Taking out the 30 crore excluded voters, we could have 50 crore records in the electoral rolls. It is widely reported that we have 90 crore voters. How do we account for this bloat of 40 crores? If we also confuse the counts with the missing women voters reported in the article, 50% of the entries in the electoral rolls would be illegal. Any takers? Heads at ECI could reel. None will roll. Our arguments sink due to their own absurdity.

“Torture the data enough and it will confess to anything” – Ronald Coase.

Aljazeera’s Article

Aljazeera’s article starts by reporting from ‘hearsay’ reports on the mass deletion of voters from the electoral rolls.  The first part of the article covers the exclusion of voters due to controversial citizenship issues. I am not qualified to comment on this.

I had sent rejoinders to the claims to EPW, Times of India, Economic Times and the author of the article in https://foreignpolicy.com. My rejoinders were not published by any one of them.

Aljazeera states, “Overall, it is hard to ascertain just how many people are not on India’s voting rolls. Research by two leading psephologists has suggested that as many as 28 million women are missing from the electoral rolls.”

CEO Karnataka statement to the press announced, “There were 956 female voters for every 1,000 male voters in 2014 and 972 in 2018. Now, it stands at 976.” As per census report of 2011, Karnataka has 973 females for every 1,000 males. At least in Karnataka, women are over-represented in the electoral rolls. The authors say “as many as 28 million women are missing from the electoral rolls,” but do not mention the count of missing men from the electoral rolls. It is a misleading incomplete statement.

A naive reader is prone to infer a bias against women while the statistics quoted by CEO-KA say otherwise.

It is reported that Mr Saifullah runs a software company doing research on electoral rolls. However, his findings do not seem to be based on facts. He told Al Jazeera that “he believes around 65 million of these missing voters are women.” The basis for his belief is not clear.  65 million women, 40 million Muslims, 30 million Dalits … we lose 100 million voters! (40 million Muslims + 30 million Dalits + 65 million women – 35 million Muslim and Dalit women = 100 million )

Then, Aljazeera makes a damning statement, “Among the 120 million people Missing Voters suggests are not included on the rolls, Saifullah further estimates that around 40 million of them, like Saleh and Imran, are Muslims while 30 million are Dalits, the former untouchables.”

Discussion

There are several flaws in this argument, based on the data patterns in the electoral rolls of Bangalore with 18% of Karnataka voters. “Saifullah’s estimates are based on discrepancies he says he found between the number of single households in census data and the election commission’s data. The numbers include those who may not have registered to vote in addition to the names that may have been deleted.”

  1. ECI allows homeless people to enrol as voters. Such voters would not have house addresses.
  2. House address is formed with the house number and section address, which is like a street address. Most of the section addresses are not detailed enough to find the location of the houses. In Bangalore, on an average, a part has 1,060 voters. 28% of them have only one section each. Putting about 1,060 voters in a single street address shows that the data is grossly incomplete and inadequate. 15% of the parts have 2 sections each, and 10% have 3 sections each.
  3. In many cases, people from the same house are shown in different houses in the electoral rolls. E.g., husband and wife living in a house are shown in different houses, and even in different parts.
  4. People are shown in wrong houses in a large number of cases.
  5. Per cent of single-voter Muslim houses is about equal to the per cent of Muslim voters. Therefore if Saifullah concludes that 40 million Muslim voters are excluded based on the count of single-voter Muslim households, 267 million non-Muslims also would have been excluded from the rolls.

We cannot trust the measurements taken using inaccurate and un-calibrated equipment. Allegations based on such measurements would mislead the readers. Then, there are repeated calls for action based on such ‘research’ inferences.

The statement “There are also concerns that India’s minorities, mainly Muslims and Dalits, were the chief targets of voter suppression,” in the article cannot be substantiated. The following points highlight the flaws/problem with the approach:

  1. Whereas we can identify Islamic names, it is not possible to identify the religion, caste and/or communities of most of the other voters. I consider it mischief to state that Dalits are being excluded from the electoral rolls. On 07 Nov 2018, Dr Shariff had agreed that it was only a guess.
  2. It is technically non-trivial to re-create voter records from the currently published English versions of electoral rolls. It is a slow process and demands high computing resources.
  3. It is extremely difficult to re-create the records from electoral rolls published in Indic scripts. About 90% of the electoral rolls are published only in Indic scripts.

Mr Saifullah’s talks, widely circulated on YouTube, claiming that his company has re-created the voter records for the entire country. In light of the foregoing, this sounds like a tall claim. It would be good to know how his team did this and to see a demonstration. If it is done with the common good in mind, the technology should be shared.

From the electoral rolls of Bangalore, published on26 Mar 2019, the counts of additions and deletions between Oct 2018 and Mar 2019 are as follows: –

Total Analysed Islamic Names Islamic %
Additions 2,99,889 34,072 11.36
Deletions 2,00,286 18,902 9.44

The electoral rolls of Bangalore have about 13% Muslim voters, but only 9.44% of the deletions bear Islamic names while 11.36% of the additions bear Islamic names. If at all there is a bias in the electoral rolls of Bangalore,, it is in favour of the Muslims and not against them. The concern expressed, “There are also concerns that India’s minorities, mainly Muslims and Dalits, were the chief targets of voter suppression” is a concern as it appears to be false propaganda based on our analysis.

We cannot comment on Saifullah’s allegation that no verification is done when people file Form 7. We cannot state so unless it is proven. If the allegation is true, it is very serious, requiring immediate investigation and action by the ECI.

The article quotes Srinivas Kodali, “When you’re deleted from a roll, you never know which year you were deleted in? Was it 2015 or 2017? There is no way to know.” In all the versions of the electoral rolls published by the CEOs on their websites except the ones published as mother rolls in September/October, the supplements show the details of additions, deletions, and modifications. If a person looks at the version prior to the mother rolls, it is easy to find the date of deletion of the voters. The CEOs also publish the details of claims and objections from which we can know the additions and deletions in response to the forms submitted by citizens. It is not as opaque as made out in the article.  Thus this is an unsubstantiated charge.

The same article by Kodali states “They have issues with their algorithms and their systems which they don’t want to accept … They want to keep using the same system or process forever”. Whereas the system does need improvement in many areas, there is no doubt that there have been several improvements over the years. Many data errors and inconsistencies which were common a few years ago have been corrected. During the past year, various State-level Electoral Roll Management Systems have been integrated into a single central system named ERO Net, which we hope to bring several benefits.

Conclusion

Despite several improvements over the last few years, the electoral rolls still have major quality issues related to data quality and data completeness. Also, some process guidelines from the ECI are regularly flouted on the field. However, I have not seen any malpractice due to political influence or any bias based on sex, religion, caste, or community.

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Please Restore the Unjust Deletions, CEO-KA

We see five writ petitions listed on the website of High Court, Karnataka, with Election Commission of India as the primary respondent.  More cases are being filed. Some of the cases (filed and being filed) are seeking redressal to the indiscriminate mass deletion of voters from electoral rolls.

There has been an outcry in Telangana too about the mass deletion of voters.

Karnataka or Telangana or any other state or UT, the CEOs do not restore illegally deleted voter records even when they agree that the deletions were wrongful. They expect the citizens to register again. An unkind cut.

A Contrary Precedence

Order of the Chief Justice on Writ Petition 38844-47/2012 (GM-RES-PIL) stated:

“We have perused the Minutes of meeting held on 27.11.2012 by the Chief Electoral Officer. It appears that the grievances ventilated in the Writ Petitions are well founded. It is submitted that deletion of some names has been incorrectly carried out. The Chief Electoral Officer is expected to suo motu look into the issues raised in these proceedings as also the correctness of deletions that have been carried out. The learned counsel for the Chief Electoral Officer states that draft rolls have been made public and objections thereto are invited upto 31.12.2012. Based on those objections, further rectification of the rolls shall be made and the final rolls shall be published on 28.1.2013.

We direct the Chief Electoral Officer to su motu look into the issues articulated in these Petitions as also the legitimacy of deletions carried out, regardless of whether objections from the public are received in this respect. With this observation, the Writ Petitions are disposed of.”

The Minutes of Meeting mentioned in the first sentence of the order is CEO-KA MoM No,DPAR 56 CHUMAPA 2012 dated 4th December 2012, signed by the CEO-KA. Paragraph 6 of the MoM states:

“CEO pointed out that there were some complaints that names of some electors may have been wrongly deleted. As a consequence after taking approval of the Commission about 52,000 wrongly deleted names were restored in the electoral rolls without taking form-6 from them”

Current Cases

We have adequate indications of mass indiscriminate deletion of voters from Oct 2018 to Mar 2019. Those who are taking up this issue with the High Court should insist that the wrongfully deleted voters should be restored by the CEO without insisting that the affected citizens should file Form-6. I would be glad to support the people working on this issue.

State Election Commission uses the electoral database of CEO-KA to conduct the local body elections. BBMP elections are due next year and if we do not act soon, we’ll go to the polls with highly defective electoral rolls -yet again.

 

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To Kill a Mocking Voter

The CEO-KA gave a few defensive statements denying the truth.

News Story: Speaking to presspersons here, Mr. Kumar said: “It is absolute wrong to say that mass indiscriminate deletion of names had taken place from the voters’ list in Bengaluru’s three constituencies.” 

I reiterate that the CEO’s officials have indiscriminately deleted genuine voters en masse,.  The pattern of wiping out voter records from entire pages of electoral rolls is a clear indication of this.  Checks by visiting the houses of some of such deleted voters showed that they have been living in the current houses for years and have been voting. They have been deleted with a reason code ‘S’ meaning that they have shifted residence. In an earlier post, we discussed this issue.

Showing people as shifted though they are living in the old address is one sin the CEO-KA has been committing for a decade. I also suspect if they are showing some alive and active people as dead and deleted from the electoral rolls. For example, in part number 9 of Byatarayanapura assembly constituency, 83 people (of 1,255) died between the versions of voter lists of Oct 2018 and Jan 2019. 6.6% of the population dies in a quarter. Whereas life expectancy in Urban Karnataka is 70.5 for males and 73.3 for females as reported, people in this part of electoral roll die young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are these deaths entered in the Births & Death records? If we visit these houses, will we see the ghosts of these citizen voters? We may. Below is the list of dead people.

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No fish in these troubled waters

Several people sent me copies of CEO, Karnataka letter DPAR 845 ELN PGR 2019 dated 19-04-2019.  Addressed to DEO  and Commissioner BBMP, stating, “I am enclosing the complaint petition … wherein it is alleged that nearly 1,50,000 voter names have been deleted from the voters list and that which will adversely affects the prospects of the BJP. You are requested to examine the matter and take necessary action … within a week.”

Arbitrary deletions have already denied lakhs of genuine voters their right to vote. It would be interesting to see what action will the Commissioner of BBMP takes now! Another paper report and a set of shameless lies?

It is made to believe that the arbitrary deletions are politically motivated. But, there is no fish in these troubled waters.  I have the results data of May 2018 assembly elections for 7,485 of 8,514 booths. The rest were not published in an accessible format. Comparing the deletion% of voters against the count of leading booths by the parties, we do not find any political bias for deletions.

 

 

 

The Electoral Roll Management System is flawed, Sir, without any help from the politicians. Times of India reported some unfortunate views of CEO-KA: Sanjiv Kumar, chief electoral officer of Karnataka, said it was citizens’ responsibility to ensure the integrity of the voters’ list. “People should check the rolls regularly and ensure that their names are in the proper place. They should not forget to get the names deleted when the case arises,” he said. 

After arbitrary deletion of the voters disregarding the documented processes, he blames the citizens for the missing names and bloated rolls. If he does not even acknowledge his responsibilities, there is little hope of improvement. And, the home page of his website shows him proudly accepting a presidential award as the CEO on 25 Jan 2019. Is the ECI system encouraging injustice towards the voters?

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Carpet Bombing the Electoral Rolls

Under National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP) a large number of records have been deleted from the electoral rolls of Bangalore without due diligence. As discussed in an earlier post, 4,405 parts smell of bad process despite the recent purification efforts by the CEO-KA. They have > 2% deletion or > 4% addition or both.

An example:

In part 62 of Anekal Assembly Constituency, 436 of 711 voters were deleted between Jan and Mar 2019. Records in the initial 15 pages are all wiped out with double watermark DELETED! Reason for deletion? They have all shifted residence. An exodus of 436 out of 711 people between 16 Jan to 26 Mar 2019! Was there a situation like the partition in  1947? None noticed? No newspaper report? Strange and sad.

For more samples, check these parts with more than 35% deletions: AC1520023, AC1500013, AC1550020, AC1520024, AC1740011, AC1550025, AC1760505, AC1750144, and AC1740028. All at CEO-KA website.

In 2012, about 13.5 lakh out of about 65 lakh voters of Bangalore were deleted with reason code S, for shifted residence. That was a fake encounter on the innocent voters by CEO-KA.  Is it being repeated?

This kind of atrocities by the CEO-KA organisation is not new and not limited to Karnataka. In the past, people were not aware of this anti-democratic act of people in the ECI organisation. With some good work from several RWAs and individuals, people are sensitised now. I hope that the affected people raise their voice to remedy the injustice.

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Voter Turnout Percent – prediction for 18 April

Mohit Rao of The Hindu asked me if we can expect a better voter turnout % in Bangalore on 18th April because the CEO and the Commissioner, BBMP claim to have cleansed the electoral rolls.

The electoral rolls have the same smell as earlier despite the claims of purification and authentication. The electoral officials, whom the CEO and BBMP Commissioner could not tame, have frustrated the citizens. Thousands of genuine voters have been deleted without due diligence and thousands of applications for registration have not been processed for months. The electoral rolls are still bloated with rampant duplicate entries and fake entries.

If we find a turnout of 55% that would be more than 70% of genuine voters. I’d be happy with that especially considering the confusion and demoralisation created by the CEO organisation. If the turnout is much higher, that would indicate fake voting and is a concern.

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pap and NERPAP

New Electoral Rolls: Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka (CEO-KA), has published on his website the latest electoral rolls – the version that will be effective for the Loksabha Elections. The documents show the date of publication as 16 Jan 2019 on its first page and as 26 Mar 2019 though they appeared on his website only on 10 Apr 2019.

Additions: CEO-KA advertised widely inviting the citizens to register as voters. unfortunately, actions on the ground did not match, resulting in a loss of faith in the system. After applying, the inclusion of the name in the electoral rolls is a chance event. Thousands of applications to register as voters languish beyond 3 months without progress. These applicants will not be included in the electoral rolls for now and will lose their right to vote in the current Loksabha elections. Some affected people have approached the High Court complaining about this.

Entropy: Some others are shocked not finding their names in the electoral rolls though they had voted less than a year ago in the assembly elections.  There are some celebrities now excluded from the rolls. The inefficiency and the resulting disenfranchisement has no community, gender, or class bias. All have been equal in the eyes of CEO’s injustice. In a push on NERPAP (National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme) we find pap committed.

Bang-Bang: The table below summarises the data from the last pages of electoral rolls of 8,514 parts of Bangalore.

 Quarter Additions Deletions
Male Female Total Male Female Total
Q4_2018 48,604 50,885 99,507 92,699 83,458 1,76,191
Q1_2019 1,13,921 1,13,155 2,27,209 14,033 12,774 26,811

CEO-KA has gone on deletion [selling] spree in Q4-2018 and addition [buying] spree in Q1-2019. The activities are based on what he decides to do rather than what the citizens desire. CEO-KA officials make statements that they cannot delete voters unless form-7 is filed and cannot add unless form-6 is filed. People on their own won’t be so keen to file form-7 in one quarter and fully shift interest to form-6 in the next quarter!

Is this bang-bang control appropriate in a social system? Should not the ECI and his officers continuously encourage and facilitate the citizens to register, correct data, and delete from the rolls? With some professionalism and care, maintenance of Electoral Roll Management System can be simplified. The current apathy of the officials has made it seem complex.

Abnormal Changes: As per ECI directives, if a part finds additions of more than 4% and deletions of more than 2%, the matter should be investigated. Of the 8,514 parts of Bangalore, deletions are > 2% in  2,733 and additions are > 4% in 2,557parts. One part has seen deletions of 61.46 voters and another has found additions of 71.26. Total 4,405 parts need investigation – either for excess deletion, excess addition, or both. Such investigations are never done.  In the chart below, AT% is total addition % and DT% is total deletion %.

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Poster Boys and Ambassadors

Cast your vote. Make democracy win,” pleads Rahul Dravid, out of posters at street corners. He has excused himself from the duty he expects his fellow citizens to honour. It is a hot story for the newspapers that Rahul Dravid’s name is not in the electoral rolls.

Prior to 2014 parliamentary elections, in a big gathering of “meet your candidates” program organised by B.PAC, a dozen college students proudly presented a flash mob pleading the people to register as voters. A news reporter asked the performers how many of them were registered as voters. None was registered and they had a stream of ready excuses.

In 2012, when Dr Ashvin Mahesh contested in the legislative council elections for the graduate constituency, the campaign office had scores of people attending to phone calls and pleading to vote for Ashvin.  Most of these volunteers did not vote because they were not registered as voters.

A polling booth official told me that he never voted because he was always on duty on the election days and could not care to cast vote by postal-ballot. About 12 million people are deployed to conduct the LS elections in 2019. I guess a few million of them would not vote. Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy, first published in 1621: “Him that makes shoes go barefoot himself”.

An anecdote.  One woman disciple of Ramakrishna Paramhansa requested him to persuade her son not to eat sweets in excess. Ramakrishna asked the woman to bring her son back after two weeks. When the woman did so, Ramakrishna talked kindly to the boy and with all the kindness told the boy to desist from eating excessive sweets. His words were effective and the boy promised to stop eating sweets from that day. Later, the mother asked why the sage waited for two weeks to give such simple advice to the boy. Ramakrishna smiled and told that two weeks earlier he too ate sweets every day and could not have advised the boy till he himself gave up sweets.

When we preach what they don’t practice, the sincerity is lost. Hypocrisy? I dare not say!

Another news report states – I Feel Cheated’: Names of Apollo Chief’s Daughter, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw’s Mom Missing from Voter List.

Rahul Dravid is not the sole celebrity unable to vote this time.

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Saifullah’s Suspicious Agenda

Dr Abusaleh Shariff and Mr Syed Khalid Saifullah are writing and speaking on a theme that Muslims are being excluded from the electoral rolls. In an earlier post, I had dispelled the points raised by these authors. I had communicated my findings to Dr Shariff but he has not responded yet. I would still love to work with his team to find the truth.

Though the research findings of Dr Shariff and his team are not independently verified and I have countered those ‘finding’ with facts, the campaign to spread the idea that injustice is done to Muslims continues. Sad. Damaging. Adding that Dalits are also getting the same deal is unethical. Dr Shariff had told in a discussion that he suspects it and that there is no evidence.  But the effort to spread this suspicion as a fact continues. This can further communal disharmony.

A couple of days ago, some friends from Delhi and Bangalore referred me to a video being circulated on WhatsApp. They told that the video has “gone viral”. This is a talk given by Syed Khalid Saifullah at the 3rd National Social Leadership Summit held during 1st to 3rd Mar 2019. The theme is that Muslim voters are being deleted from the electoral rolls.

The talk starts with a request, “Raise hands those who have voter ID cards” and then a statement, “15% of you won’t find your names in the electoral rolls when you go to cast your vote” and elaborating that anyone can get your name deleted from electoral rolls by filling Form-7 online. In another talk at http://www.missingvoters.in/ he states that 20% of the people would be missing from the electoral rolls on the day of elections.

Such a serious aspersion on the ECI organisation without evidence is not a responsible act. Since 2012, I have been fighting against the illegal deletion of voters, which continues even today. However, there is no evidence or indication that it is done with a communal bias or by some political party or groups of citizens by filling Form-7. It is only correct to limit the accusations to facts that can be verified.

The home page of http://www.missingvoters.in site, which has a link to the talk, also shows the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “research” findings change from one sentence to the next! Missing Dalit voters count that is 3 crores in bold large fonts become 4 crores in the very next sentence. Missing Muslim voters which is 2 crores in print becomes 3 crores in the speech.

Truth has one face. The version of a lie is as per convenience. This site was earlier named as missingmuslimvoters.in.

What is most missing is a logic in the argument. If the research is reliable, it should be open for public scrutiny and verification of the findings.

This blog post has analysed the arguments in the article referred at missingvoters.in home page.

Mr Saifullah claims that his software can recover voter records from the electoral rolls published at CEOs’ websites. The electoral rolls are published as image PDF documents and it is non-trivial to extract data from them.  In some correspondences of Nov 2018, the IT specialist referred by Dr Shariff told me that his team used Google Vision API to extract voter data from image files. I have tried the features and see that the accuracy of data is less than 80% for the electoral rolls in English, of Bangalore. The task also takes much time and hard. Not as easy as Mr Saifullah make us believe.

Only about 12% of the electoral rolls are officially and publically available in English. The rest are in Indic scripts. I have not been able to re-construct voter records from them with many years efforts, with support from several excellent professionals including some people working for Google, USA. If Mr Saifullah is able to do this, his team must be one of the greatest in the world. I am eager to learn from them.

An argument oft repeated by Dr Shariff and Mr Saifullah is that a large number of Muslim houses have lone voter and genuine voters from such houses are excluded. Lone voter houses are seen with equal proportion in non-Muslim houses as well. There is no communal bias in the inefficiency of ECI organisation. The quality of electoral rolls is poor. One of the problems is that members of one house are often shown in different houses and even in different parts. See this story. This has been the case for the past ten years. Mr Saifullah’s argument that a particular political party had won because 1,800 Muslim houses had only one voter each is a hasty and immature generalisation.

It is incorrect to say without evidence that 3 crore Muslim voters and 4 crore Dalit voters are missing from the electoral rolls without proving it.

 

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CEO, Karnataka, is Biased Against Male Voters

Out of the statements to Times of India from the CEO, Karnataka, we have a simple arithmetic problem for the school kids:

When the electoral rolls were published in Oct 2018, it had 972 female voters per 1,000 male voters. The electoral rolls now (06 Mar 2019) have 978 female voters per 1,000 male voters. During this period, 11,30,000 voters were added and 13,80,000 were deleted from the list. What is the net change in the count of female voters and that of male voters?

Without explaining the simple steps of the solution, the results are: the count of female voters has reduced by 45,237 whereas that of male voters has reduced by 2,04,763. Reduction in the count of male voters is  4.53 times that of female voters.

As a male voter, I cry “foul!

The proportion can change so wildly either by indiscrete deletion of male voters or by an indiscrete rejection of males’ applications for registration as voters.

Voter records can be deleted for specific reasons, which are – expired, repeated entries,  missing, shifted residence, or disqualified for being mentally unfit or being convicted for certain classes of crimes.

In the electoral rolls published in May 2018, we have 3,848 records highly suspected to be duplicate entries. Of them, 1,756 are of females – i.e., 46%. Deletions for being repeated entries cannot be noticeably higher for men, and should not be so in a fair game.  Is the higher female/male ratio achieved by deleting for various other reasons, or larger rejection of male applicants for fresh registration? Else, are the numbers quoted out of a black hat without the trouble of checking the facts?

Census reports show that Karnataka has 973 females per 1,000 males. Why do the electoral rolls have 978 females per 1,000 males? Why is the CEO sounding happy about it?

In these times of fake news, many reputed organisations and institutes like Harvard University and MIT have suggested ways to judge the truthfulness of news. The TOI news does not pass the muster.

  1. “… [the CEO] admitted that the electoral list was not perfect, however the process of cleaning it up is the most complex exercise that they have taken up.”

The first part is an understatement. Citizens have been suffering and complaining about the non-professional process of electoral roll management for more than a decade. The second part is an unsupportable statement. By no measure the electoral roll management is complex. There is no volume, velocity, or variety in the data. The application is neither time critical nor life critical. It has very little transactions. ECI/CEOs have never considered the task as mission critical. There is no loss of money if we don’t consider the black money in elections. Indian IT professionals have implemented systems orders of magnitude more complex and highly reliable.

When the opening of news is suspect, we have to scrutinise the rest more carefully. Future statements from that source should be suspected.

  1. “Electorate to population ratio has also improved from 72 in 2018 to 71.5 at present, though it should ideally be 68.”

In a previous blog post, I have discussed how the electoral rolls are bloated. As per census report, 41% of our population is below 18 years old and thus we cannot have more than 59% of the population as voters. Why is CEO-KA aiming for his “ideal” ratio of 68?

Happy Women’s Day!

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