Friday, September 11, 2009

Resume voter registration, Urges Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party today requested the Election Commission and the State Government to resume voter registration on a continuous basis.

Talking to the media, party spokespersons V. Laxman Balaji and Mrs. K. Gita Murthy said that not a new single voter identity card had been issued after the 2009 general elections.

Following nine years of persistent Lok Satta struggles, the Election Commission of India agreed to make post office the nodal agency for voter registration, beginning with Hyderabad, on the eve of the 2009 general elections. The move elicited tremendous response in that tens of thousands of people put in their applications in post offices beginning on November 17, 2008. Far from extending the move to cover all the 16,000 post offices in the State in phases as promised by the Election Commission of India, only about half of the 350,000 postal applicants in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation area had been issued voter identity cards. The others had been left high and dry so far.

The Lok Satta leaders said the voters’ lists continued to be riddled with mistakes even during the 2009 general elections. Such mistakes could be rectified only when the accessible and nearby post office is made the nodal agency for voter registration and related matters. A survey conducted by the Lok Satta in the Sanatnagar Assembly constituency in 2004-05 revealed that 13 percent of the eligible did not have votes while nine percent of the 185,000 voters were ineligible.

The party spokespersons wanted the authorities to ensure that all the eligible who had applied for voter registration received their voter ID cards and that postal services were utilized on a permanent basis.

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