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 directive, shall, 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.