ECI’s Election Balls

News report states, “The Election Commission on Friday announced single-day poll in Maharashtra and Haryana on October 15, setting the ball rolling …” Election Commission keeps rolling balls without concern for the ground reality about the state of electoral rolls.

On 25 April 2014 media published “Election Commissioner HS Brahma has apologised to Mumbaikars for the missing names of voters in the Lok Sabha voter’s list.”

While there could be lapses in the system, what is appalling is the contempt for helpful feedback and disregard of ECI rules and guidelines by many CEOs and the ECI.

Hand Book for Electoral Registration Officers, Election Commission of India, 2012, Chapter I, paragraph 46, ECI has directed CEO-MH to publish Electoral Rolls of 59 specific constituencies in English. Chapter I, paragraph 41 ibid   states, “… at CEO’s website, the roll shall be put in public domain, in a PDF format on the same day when the roll is claimed to be published … The draft roll on the web shall be put in a text mode …” Text in ERO Handbook is clear with words like directiveshall, and should, that it is not left to the discretion of CEO to publish the rolls in English.

I have been hoping to analyse the rolls of Maharashtra using sample English versions. Though I wrote to CEO-MH a few times requesting him to publish the rolls of 59 specific constituencies in English, as required by ECI directives, he has chosen to ignore the mails.

Based on analysis of only voter counts in various booths of Haryana, the other election going state, it is evident that the CEO has not honored ECI directives

EVMs manufactured since 2006 cannot register more than 2,000 votes. 15 booths in Haryana have more than 2,000 voters. This may be considered illegal because it denies voting rights to people by design.

RO Handbook, 2014, suggest maximum 1,200 voters per rural- and 1,400 voters per urban-booth. In Haryana,  4,088 (25.4%) booths have more than 1,200 voters and 1,126 (7%) have more than 1,400 voters. This violates ECI guidelines on booth size.

In Haryana we see very sharp decline in voter turnout% when the booth size is larger than 1,600. Unfortunately, CEO-HR has not responded to my mails with this observation. Nor has ECI responded.



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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3 Responses to ECI’s Election Balls

  1. Sekhar says:

    Mr Bhat. I’m impressed by the effort and the attention to detail. Thanks.

    A Question – Have you considered publicizing this on a larger forum (assuming that you have not done so) ? For example. the Association for Democratic Reforms etc ? (I have never dealt with them, or with any other such organization, but it is likely that they would be interested).

    Also – a question – is there any way one could help in these matters ? Is there any organization that specifies how one could help ? Any website with pointers ?


    • pgbhat says:

      Thanks, Sekhar.
      1. I have met the founders and core people of ADR and am in touch with them. I also attended their national seminar at 2011 at Bhopal. Other organisations like B.PAC, VBI, CELL, etc. know my work.
      2. ECI invited me to attend their national seminar at Nainital held in May 2013, where I gave a presentation on my findings. I met the 3 ECs twice – once in Delhi and once in Bangalore.I have been in touch with reps of some CEOs. They have not acted on my feedback. I have send my feedback and offer of help to several CEOs. None responds to mails.
      3. I have sent scores of reports to ECI, wrote to the Law Minister, Prime Minister, and CJI. No response. I have met some MLAs and ministers of Karnataka, written to all the MLAs of Bangalore, met people like Rajeev Gowda, MP, a few times …

      I’ll continue my work irrespective of the non-responses from various authorities. I’ll be grateful suggestions.


  2. Sekhar says:

    Mr Bhat,

    Thanks for the reply. I had posted here on 11 – 10 – 2014, but the post got deleted. The post may have been deleted as I had mentioned an email id of mine. I had created the id for the sole purpose of communicating with you, in case you wished to do so. Anyway, more on that later.

    This post is very long, please pardon the verbosity.

    I had read elsewhere (in your blog, I think) that the English version of the electoral rolls was/ is awaited, to enable analysis, whereas they were published in Hindi only in Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand etc.

    I tried to analyse Hindi electoral rolls using MS EXCEL. I found that it is possible ie analysis of electoral rolls published in Hindi is possible without the use of specialized software.

    The procedure is somewhat roundabout, but it is, in my opinion, preferable to the alternatives.

    The electoral rolls I analysed pertain to Uttar Pradesh, District Agra, Assembly Constituency (ie, AC) Agra Cantt, Polling Station No 1. Some results are :
    (a) AHK2020436 and AHK2096824 ie serials 1250 and 1248 refer to the same person. This seems to have escaped detection.
    (b) AHK0745455 and AHK2483899 ie serials 718 and 722 refer to the same person. This seems to have escaped detection.
    (c) AHK0989442 and AHK1440668 ie serials 1107, 1422 refer to the same person. However, both have been marked for deletion (or have been marked as already deleted).
    (d) AHK2011252 and AHK2011252 ie serials 1423 and 1471 refer to the same person. AHK2011252 ie Ser 1471 has been marked for deletion (or has been marked as already deleted).
    (e) UP/73/357/0201424 and UP/73/357/0201703 ie serials 41 and 310 refer to the same person, the former has been marked for deletion (or has been marked as already deleted).

    I had analysed some electoral rolls of Telangana (erstwhile Andhra Pradesh) as well, which are available in English and Telugu. I analysed the English rolls, which in my opinion is procedurally more simple than analysing Hindi rolls (when using EXCEL). Leaving out the language part of it, the procedure adopted by the CEO Uttar Pradesh is, I felt, much better. From what I can make out, this procedure is as follows :
    (a) There seems to be an ongoing effort to identify errors and rectify them.
    (b) In case an id is being deleted, or has been deleted, the concerned portion of the electoral roll has a word like ‘vilopit’ ie ‘ विलोपित ‘ stamped (ie superimposed) on it, indicating that there is something wrong with it, and it has been removed from the database, or will be removed in the next publication.
    (c) In addition, there is an appendix to the electoral roll, which mentions the deleted ids and the reasons for deletion (duplication, change of address etc).
    (d) Similarly, there is another appendix that mentions newly added ids, and reasons for addition.
    (e) In case amendments have been made to an id, it is indicated by an a ‘#’, with the legend ‘poorak ke anusar sanshodit’ which, I think, means “corrected/ rectified as per filler”.

    The above has the advantage that interested persons can find out what is going to happen in the next publication, instead of being taken by surprise when their names are deleted, or they can find out if any requested amendment has been done. From what I could make out, the CEO Telangana does not follow such a procedure. Going by what I read, it looks like the CEOs of Karnataka and Maharashtra do not, as well.

    On the other hand, in the UP electoral roll, there are instances of the same EPIC number being repeated, I did not find this in the Telangana electoral rolls I looked into. Since this post is becoming too long, I shall mention the instances in the next post.

    I tried Hindi as the states using Hindi are more in number. I tried to work on Kannada electoral rolls using EXCEL as well, but that did not work. After working some more on Hindi, I think I shall try the Marathi electoral rolls. In case one can provide any assistance, one will be happy to do so.

    I assume that posting the method I used for working on the Hindi electoral rolls may be of some assistance. Since this post is becoming too long, I will write about it in the next post in a few minutes.

    Lastly, a word in reply will be highly appreciated. Similarly, in case a post is being deleted, it would help if the reasons are mentioned. One understands that these things are not mandatory, but they would definitely be of help.



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