Neighbours envy; though not owner’s pride

A decade and half ago, Chandrababu Naidu was being lauded for the positive impact he was making as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh with good administration and some innovative implementations. Our own Karnataka CM JH Patel, in his bibulous state, called for a high level meeting of administrative officers and admonished them for their incompetency and lack of commitment. He told the officers that Babu took all the credits for the good work being done by his babus though by himself, Babu was no better than Patel. And Patel wanted his patlan to make him shine like Babu alias Naidu.

We laughed at the remarks of JH Patel. Now, after an inglorious decade of political events in AP, people no more highly rate the government there. How about the babus in AP?

Dilip Shankara Reddy prompted me to study the electoral rolls of Malkajgiri constituency in AP and sent me 357 voter lists of the constituency in PDF form. Some discoveries show that the babus at the CEO’s organisation in AP are proving JHP right by doing far better job than the CEO, Karnataka. In the 3,41,260 voter records in 357 lists, I found far less quality issues than in the pathetic voter lists of Karnataka, sampled from 27 constituencies of Bangalore Districts with 57,55,082 voters.

  1. Voter ID:
  • Karnataka: 8.22% of the records do not have valid Voter IDs. The field is blank in 3,72,477 records, 27,277 voter IDs are duplicated and many IDs are not in valid format. 718 distinct FUSN (functional unique serial number – the first three characters of Voter ID) are seen in 27 districts, whereas FUSN is designed to be unique to a constituency. In case of duplication, the same ID is given to different people.  Also, some people with one ID have duplicate entries.
  • Andhra: All the records have Voter IDs, some in old format and others in new format. Four FUSN are seen. 140 duplicate Voter IDs are found. There is no case of one ID given to more than one person; people with unique ID have multiple entries. Errors – 0.04% as against 8.22% in Karnataka.
  1. Voter Age: Sample from Karnataka has 5,700 voters either too young or too old to vote. Andhra sample does not have this error.
  2. Voter and Relative Names:  The kind of errors like blank names and lack of standards are seen equally in both the samples.
  3. Voter addresses in Andhra are more complete. In most cases in Karnataka, they are grossly incomplete and useless.

The CEO, Andhra Pradesh, also does not share the voter lists in any format other than what is published on his website as PDF documents. To analyse, we have to extract text from it and then parse voter records. The conversion process introduces minor errors. The format of the voter lists of Andhra Pradesh look like those of Karnataka, but the X/Y positions of values differ. Due to this, the parser that works for Karnataka lists has to be tweaked to work on Andhra lists.

Most of my recommendations to CEO, Karnataka, on how we can improve the quality of voter lists, apply to Andhra Pradesh as well. But, the task will be simpler there as the errors are not as serious.


About pgbhat

A retired Naval Officer and an educationist. Has experience with software industry. A guest faculty at different institutes and a corporate trainer with software development companies.
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2 Responses to Neighbours envy; though not owner’s pride

  1. Madhav says:

    LokSatta, as an NGO organization, played a key role in getting most of the errors corrected in voter records in Andhra. It is one of the achievements often claimed by Dr.JP, validated by your checks.


  2. pgbhat says:

    This is laudable achievement, indeed.


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