AAP swept Delhi roads with broom and election booths of votes. If to believe reports of Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi (CEO-DL), citizens were so enthusiastic that voter turnout% in a booth was 108.45%. Part 144 of constituency 12 has 1029 voters. Final Results Sheet (Form 20) shows 1,111 valid votes and 5 NOTA. Total 1116 votes cast in this booth – 108.45% voter turnout.
The above data is from forms 20 published by CEO-DL at his website.
An year ago, on 27 May 2014, I had sent a detailed report to CEO-DL and ECI about the adverse effect of booth sizes larger than recommended by ECI. In several subsequent mails I brought up this issue, but there was no response to any one of them. No action either.
As per ECI directives of 2014, urban booth sizes should not have more than 1,400 and rural more than 1,200 voters. The latest electoral rolls of Delhi, of 21 Jan 2015, have 2,188 parts with more than 1,400 voters. Though 52 of these parts have two booths each and one of them has 3, some of these booths would still have more than 1,400 voters. E.g., part 109 of constituency 54 has 5,369 voters. Even with 3 booths, they would have more than 1,400 voters per booth. I infer that about 2,150 booths – more than 20% – exceed 1,400 voters each.
Analysis of various states consistently show that lower voter turnout% has correlation with larger than set limit of booth size. The graph shows the voter turnout% against booth sizes in Delhi Assembly Elections, Feb 2015.
Booths Larger than EVM Size
An EVM can accept maximum 2,000 votes. If a booth has more voters, some of them would be denied voting rights even if the polling-booth staff is super efficient and voters committed. 137 booths in Delhi have more than 2,000 voters. Some voters in these booths are denied their voting rights by design.
Forms published by CEO-DL do not conform to the format prescribed by ECI. Also, format differs across constituencies.
ECI’s Guidelines, standards and rules are violated as a rule by most of the CEOs.