In the Electoral Roll Management System, claims mean citizens claim to be included as voters, by filing Form-6. Objections are requests to delete certain voter records by filing Form-7. Forms 8 requests to edit voter details and 8A is used to effect change in address. Together, these four forms are called ‘claims and objections.’ CEO-KA shows the status of these applications on his website.
Based on input from some EROs, claims and objections received till 15 Feb 2018 have been considered for the electoral rolls to be published on 28 Feb 2018. The last version of electoral rolls in complete was published on 30 Nov 2017 though some parts were published on 03 Nov 2017. Considering this, I have studied the claims and objections data for the 28 constituencies of Bangalore District for the period of 30 Oct 2017 to 20 Feb 2018.
- The succeeding bar graphs show the count of received applications and percentage of approved, rejected, and pending applications. They would help to compare the activities of EROs across Bangalore. While some of the constituencies show good activities in updating the electoral rolls, others show very little changes in the rolls.
- In case of deletions, graphs are included to show reasons for deletions. Though the authorities have been claiming that deceased voters have been deleted by checking the names from register of births and deaths, percent of voters deleted demonstrate that only a few EROs might have done so. While one constituency shows more than 1% of voters deceased in 3 months, some others show less than 0.01% deaths in this period.
- The percentages of approved, rejected, and pending applications vary widely across constituencies. While some constituencies have rejected about 30% of applications, some have accepted about 98%. Factors leading to such disparity may be investigated.
- Two constituencies have a large number of applications under verification.
- Most of the similar anomalies observed in earlier studies and reported to CEO-KA are not corrected. CEO-KA has not even acknowledged the receipt of the reports. Non-response to feedback is usual for all the authorities in the organisation, from the ECI to BLO.
Further analysis and investigations can lead to actions to correct anomalies and improve the system.
Random checks also show that thousands of duplicate entries created during Jan to Nov 2017 and reported to CEO-KA are not deleted yet.
Form-6 data for Bangalore South constituency is not uploaded on CEO-KA website.
Total applications in 27 constituencies: 3,36,110. Approved: 2,85,957. Rejected: 48,692. Pending: 1,461
Of the rejected applications,
- 20,264 are given the reason as “Eligible for Inclusion.” The logic of rejection is not understood. This point was also reported to CEO-KA a few times earlier.
- 6,204 are rejected with reason “not Indian citizen.” It is strange that as many non-Indians have submitted Form-6. This may be investigated.
Applications: 1,20,968. Approved: 1,13,521. Rejected: 7,386. Pending: 61
7,367 of the rejected applications have remarks reading “may be deleted.” If the records may be deleted, why are the applications for deletion rejected?
Reasons for Deletion
Of the deleted voters, a wide variation across constituencies is found in the count of deletions for death and shifting. Whereas common sense tells us that the rate of death would be even across constituencies, the percentage of voters expired varies widely, indicating that only some of the constituencies have deleted deceased voters. Similarly, studies show even distribution of suspected duplicate records. But only a few constituencies have deleted duplicate records.
Applications: 33,234. Approved: 32,267. Rejected: 932. Pending: 35
Applications: 7,361. Approved: 7,045. Rejected: 274. Pending: 42
272 of the rejected applications show reason as “may be deleted.” It is not clear if these records are deleted. Also, when an application is for the change of address, how is a decision taken to delete the record?