Friday, January 29, 2010

You can still make it to voters’ list

You can still make it to voters’ list
January 29 Is The Last Date To Submit Applications | Volunteers Do Their Bit
TIMES NEWS NETWORK

Bangalore: It’s just a day away now: January 29 is the last date for Bangaloreans to get themselves updated on the voters’ list
for the upcoming BBMP elections. Thursday is technically the last day to submit applications for exclusions and inclusions in the list.
“It’s a set procedure. After the deadline, the applications are scrutinised by
Electoral Returning Officers (EROs). This will be followed by a call for objections, with a seven-day deadline. The voter list will then be finalised, after the last date of nominations. This will be the third supplement. Alterations cannot be made after the last date of filing of nominations,’’ State Election Commission officials told The Times of India.
THE EPIC ISSUE
The process of registering as voters and updation is a regular process that can be done through the year. But, experience shows that this activity gains momentum only before an election. Publicity and awareness has no effect on the voter, and every election has a new set of voters, besides the old ones who may or may not be visible on the list. The growing migratory population apart, increasing errors on the existing voter list also put off voters, observe volunteers.
Is it time for a change? What’s the real problem?
“In a place like Bangalore, migration is definitely a cause. Further, people don’t update themselves on the voter list as a majority of them still find the entire exercise complicated. The desire to vote is always there, but the process needs more transparency. Today, when we submit the application, there is no proper tracking system available to the voter. The acknowledgement given is useless. Why don’t we have a system where we respect the voter’s right to vote?’’ said Jasmine Shah, national coordinator of the Jaagte Raho! campaign.
VOLUNTEERS HELP CAUSE
Though woes are a-plenty, people joining the electoral process as volunteers is heartening. Here are three intrepid crusaders who are working to get the common man to the booth, getting more than 1,000 voters registered in less than a month.
Last elections, Rajesh Shankar Pillai, 36, was rather shocked to see just 500 of 1,500 voters in his area cast their votes. But this year, he has managed to get more than 100 new voters to register, apart from submitting a few other applications for correction — all in less than a week. A software engineer from Banaswadi, he and his team of RWA members made made of the best use of technology, sending bulk SMSes and e-mail alerts to ensure they were heard.
Aparna, 37, resident of Domlur, submitted her pile of 200 forms from the area on Wednesday. “It’s taken me almost a month. Everybody says voters don’t come out and vote, but on the ground, I realized it’s also to do with a systemic failure. Most people are just furious. They are fed up of repeatedly being struck off the list for no proper reason!’’ she explains.
M Saravanan, 43, also managed to collate 350 applications from his enclosed residential complex at Gunata Vihar near Mehkri Circle — his tool was simple oral publicity, going doorto-door and even pasting xerox copies of the existing voter list.
These individuals are working as part of the Area Voter Mitra initiative of Janaagraha’s campaign.
FORM TALK
Form 6: New voter registration Form 7: Deletion of names on electoral roll Form 8: Correction of names and details entered on roll Form 8A: If a person has shifted from one area to another
ONLINE CHECK TOOLS
http://www.bbmpelections. in/ : To check which ward you belong to and other details regarding BBMP elections 2010
http://smartvote.in/ voterlist/: The website enables people to access information on voters across the 198 BBMP wards. Various search options — like ward number, part of voter name and door number, among others, attempt to make the search simpler. The page can also be printed, reducing lastminute tension at polling booths on D-Day.

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