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Murphy’s Law and Public outcry over Missing names in the electoral Lists

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 Murphy's law is an adage in Western culture that broadly states: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Is the election commissioner unaware of such a law?

Today’s Times of India carried an article on missing names in the voters’ lists. It is a sad commentary of the election commissions working. It is like closing the stable after the horses have bolted. The election commissioner wants to start working on a grand 24/7 helpline after the elections are almost over. A CEO of a company would have been fired instantly for such lapses if at all such incident would have happened in a private company.

Agreed it takes minimum 10 days to include a name. Spelling corrections are done online at VFC (Voter Facilitation Centers). The Election commission seems to be no better than a students appearing for an exam. The election commission has its exams only once in five years.

“Electoral procedures are followed as per the law any changes will require an amendments to the law” Does this mean that we can expect that things will remain so for the next election too?

Mr. Vidyashankar wants EPIC to be eventually mandatory for voting. It was not mandatory only in the current election. If the EPIC is a Photo ID why a driving license cannot be good enough to identify a person? With EPIC card number one can find whether his name is there in voters list. Person identification can be done by both the cards or any Photo ID like pass port for example.

Driving License                                                   EPIC card

1.      DL No                                                           EPIC No

2.      Name                                                            Name

3.      Fathers Name                                             Fathers Name

4.      No Sex                                                           Sex

5.      Blood Group                                                  No Blood group

6.      DOB                                                                DOB

7.      Address                                                          Address

8.      Phone No                                                       No Phone No

9.      Signature ID                                                   No Signature ID

10.  Photo ID                                                            Photo ID

11.  Registration Zone                                          Assembly Constituency

 

PSA

Comments

psaram42's picture

EPIC card is good for claiming Senior Citizen Benefits

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 Many senior citizens carry EPIC as it is usefull to get concessional tickets on Bangalore city busses of various hues. They carry it as loosing it is not such a great issue.

PSA

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Electoral Rolls - Mother of all frauds... proved yet again

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Daggers are drawn and are pointing towards the Election Commission for its inability to come out with a near perfect electoral rolls.  Yet again EC has proved its inability to ensure the enthusiastic voters names properly enumerated and included in the voters list.  

Such an important constitutional body is a part time skeletal office ("A snake without fangs") that is top heavy with full time members who depend upon unwilling horses in the form of government servants, teachers, corporation / municipal / local bodies employees to assist in its discharging its constitutional duties and responsibilities and to perform such an onerous duty. Still Rs.10,000 crores plus are being spent just to see that names of voters do not exist despite peoples voluntary initiative. 

Very interesting tidbit from a Media Report dated 14-3-09:  

EC has earned the dubious distinction of ensuring 333 youth voters in one single house that does not exist  (house Nos.283/1, 283/12, 283/17 etc.,) in the Andhra Pradesh Amberpet Assembly Constituency - it is not a hostel and there is not even a house at that address - when brought to notice, EC office has said "it is not possible to add or delete voters at this stage". 

Citizens are also to be blamed squarely on their complacency and last minute running about to ensure their names exist in the voters list.  Many citizens have sincerely followed and performed their duty of filing applications but verifications, inclusion of names in the relevant parts of the enumerated list, intimating the sl.number and part number to the citizens, taking photo, printing and issuing it to the citizens in a scientific manner is the primary responsibility of the EC. 

There appears to be failure of the EC system in rendering proper service; hence tens and thousands of voters names who had been issued photo ID cards were missing and tens and thousands of people who had rightly filled up the forms, obtained acknowledgements could not vote due to non-inclusion of names by the concerned officials in the relevant parts of the enumerated lists.

EC has become immune to Murphy Law?  

Best solution would be to keep the offices of the EC, albeit with skeletal staff, throughout the year without restricting issue of photo IDs etc., and avoid sticking to a strict time table/dates;  so that people can obtain their cards at their leisure instead of running from pillar to post, just to get disappointed on the D-day. 

I have been shouting 'Vote U Must' from roof tops since 1995 and doing it even during this 2009 LS - latest - have a look at:

http://www.thehindu.com/2009/04/16/stories/2009041650900200.htm

Next best solution would be to go for Online Voting system.

-Vasanth Mysoremath

 

murali772's picture

Dissecting the low voter turnout in Bangalore

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Dr Trilochan Sastri's analysis as quoted in today's TOI are as below: Check -

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=TOINEW&BaseHref=TOIBG/2009/04/25&PageLabel=6&EntityId=Ar00600&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T

What are the reasons?
Voter rolls, errors in lists and vacation could be part of the reason, but the more important reason is the disconnect between the urban middle-class voter and politics. The educated feel: What difference does it make to my life whether somebody wins or not, I anyway get all facilities. The day-to-day life of the middle-class voter has nothing to do with elections or who wins and loses. Things won’t change unless there’s an impact of not voting.

What is the way out?
Enhance the connect between politics, elections and the urban voter. This can be done through decentralisation and devolution. Taxes should be used locally and people should be made to see the difference in urban areas. Connect the urban voter with politics through concrete policies, through the way taxes are used. This connect alone will make a difference.


"Errors in lists" I think should be stated in capitals. Even by Election Commission's own admissions in the past, the voters' list accuracy was supposedly less than 50%, on an average across the country. From the kind of reports we are getting, it appears no better even today, even in the technology capital of the country. This means that of the eligible 15 lakhs electorate (@ say 70% of the total 22 lakh population) of Bangalore South constituency, some 7.5 lakhs stand disenfranchised, leaving the remaining 7.5 lakhs to vote. Of these, only some 3.75 lakhs have actually cast their votes. And, a candidate can be declared victorious with even as low as some 50,000 votes being cast in his favour. If this isn't subversion of democracy, what else is?

And, it is not as if this state of affairs has not been known so far - check:  http://praja.in/bangalore/blog/murali772/2008/05/04/subversion-democratic-process.   But, what is shocking is the near total indifference to the issue, by both the government agencies involved as well as the civil society, even as they have been making a song and dance over matters of far less import.

As such, even as there is plenty of merit in what Dr Sastri has pointed out as the way out, I believe the far more urgent need is to address the 'error' issue, and the only way out here appears to be through the out-sourcing of the entire job to reputed companies as brought out at http://praja.in/blog/murali772/2008/01/23/bangaloreing-voters-list-review

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Penalising Non-Voters Is An Option

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512 users have liked.

Shame on Urban Bangalore !

The writeup by Trilochan Sastry states the following as reasons for the very poor voter turnout :

There’s a disconnect between the urban middle-class voter and the political process. The middle class feels: ‘I love democracy but I hate politics; India should be a democracy but I will not vote’. There are people proudly tell me: ‘I have not voted for 15 years’. How do you expect India to survive as a democracy if you don’t vote? The educated, thinking class is abdicating its responsibility.

How True, Could'nt agree with him more on his reasoning.

When EPIC cards were being issued, there were long queues for collection of the cards, but when the time came to cast votes, the queues suddenly became inconvenient for most !

An option that should be seriously considered is to penalise the urban "Non-Voters", starting with some token measures such as production of proof of having voted when their children apply for school admissions, when registering for PAN cards, when applying for BDA sites, when applying for passports, opening bank accounts, applying for building plans, ration cards etc. etc.

This seems the only way out. PAN cards have now become mandatory for most financial matters, & similarly, EPIC & proof of Voting must also be made mandatory, starting with Urban areas.

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