Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka (CEO-KA), Press Note No. DPAR 05 MC 2018 dated 02 Apr 2018, had announced a special registration drive on 8th April and that all the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) had been directed to be at their respective Polling Booths to receive applications from citizens. He should know that many BLOs listed on his website do not exist in reality. I had reported this issue to the ECI and CEO-KA several times in the past.
Times of India published on 3rd April: “The special one-day camp will be organized from 10am to 5pm this Sunday,” Karnataka chief electoral officer (CEO) Sanjiv Kumar told reporters on Monday.
At the polling stations in Girinagar (Ward 162) I did not find any official doing voter registration even after 1100. There was no notice or any arrangement for the registration process. Some citizens were still waiting at 1100 and complaining. When I called the CEO-KA, the phone number was out of reach and that of Mr. Ramesh, Joint CEO, was ringing but he did not respond. Then I sent email to CEO-KA and various BBMP officials concerned with voter registration. By about 1200 officials grudgingly reached the polling stations and I received a few calls to confirm that.
Today’s Times of India report titled “Hiccups mar BBMP’s voter enrolment drive: citizens fume at apathy” gives the story of the drive and drivel across the city. However, it is heartening that 1.2 Lakh applications were received despite the apathy shown the officials in the conduct of this registration drive.
Numerous well-intentioned policy letters and directives of ECI and CEO-KA remain on paper and don’t get done on the ground. Where stops the buck? The buck gets shot and none is caught.
The quality of electoral rolls is deteriorating, access is becoming more difficult, and the response time of CEO-KA website is dismal. An ERO told me that his team’s efficiency is affected due to the slow response of the site.