On 16 July 2017, Time of India(TOI) allocated 120 centimeter-columns to stories about the status of electoral rolls of Bangalore Districts. They miss some important facts and references and could give a wrong impression to the readers.
TOI: “In the process of cleaning the voters’ list, the Palike [BBMP] has noticed a remarkable tilt in gender ratio in the constituencies. It only goes to show that not all women have registered as voters.”
Neither all the women nor all the men have registered as voters. This is not a news. The “remarkable tilt” in gender ratio noticed by BBMP is not supported by facts. However, the statement gives a feeling that women are grossly under-represented.
Let us look at the facts.
Page 45 of Census of India 2011, KARNATAKA, SERIES-30 PART XII-A, DISTRICT CENSUS HANDBOOK, BANGALORE states, “The sex ratio is defined as number of females to 1000 males. According to 2011 Census, the sex ratio of the district is 916.”
Therefore, if a constituency has a sex ratio lower than 916, then, females have a lower representation. Also, if the ratio is higher than 916, then, males have a lower representation.
Assuming the census report to be valid, 15 out of the 28 constituencies of Bangalore have sex ratios higher than 916 and one has 916. When only 12 out of 28 (43%) constituencies have a higher representation of males, it is strange that BBMP finds a “remarkable tilt” favouring male voters. We can argue that there is remarkable tilt against male voters.
Based on the electoral rolls published by the Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, (CEO) on 10 Jan 2017, the following chart shows the sex ratios of Bangalore constituencies KA150 to KA177.
The aggregate sex ratio of voters in Bangalore constituencies is 911, which, ideally, should have been 916. As seen the chart above, 5 or 6 constituencies have a much lower representation of females.
As per the TOI report, the Election Commission expects 70% of the population to be registered as voters whereas as per census report, 68.22% of the population of Karnataka is equal or above 18 years of age. Despite that, 119 of 198 wards of BBMP have more than 68% of the population registered as voters. Though I have reported this bloat in the voter list with illegal entries, there is no response from the CEO or the Commissioner, BBMP.
The following issues continue to erode the quality of electoral rolls:
- Lakhs of duplicated records and fake entries.
- Virtual deletion of voters due to software and process errors.
- Larger than permissible booth sizes, causing poorer voter turnout%.
- Non-inclusion of approved claims and objections (additions, corrections, and deletions).
- Scant data on section address.
- Errors in name, age, sex, relationship, and house
- Unreadable records in PDF documents published at CEO’s website.
With the Assembly Election due in less than a year, we citizens have a duty to demand a better quality electoral rolls and their management.