Monday, March 12, 2012

Voter ID slip distribution by Election Commission faulty: Lok Satta

The Lok Satta Party has raised certain questions over the Election Commission of India itself distributing identity slips to voters in by-elections to the State Assembly.

Hitherto, political parties or contestants used to distribute the identity slips which carry the name, voter number, and polling station details to voters.

In a representation to Mr. Bhanwarlal, Chief Electoral Officer, Lok Satta Party leaders P. Bhaskara Rao and K. Gangadhara Rao pointed out that distribution of voter identity slips in Kovur Assembly constituency is flawed. Election duty personnel are not distributing correct voter ID slips at voters' residences in some cases. The distribution is not being done either continuously or systematically holding out the prospect of some voters not receiving slips. Again, it is not clear whether election duty personnel will distribute identity slips on the day of polling.

The Lok Satta leaders said there is no clarity on whether political parties/candidates will be permitted to set up tables beyond the 200-meter boundary of a polling station on the polling day and issue voter slips. The Election Commission's ambiguity on the issue will result in dominant/entrenched candidates/parties setting up tables while other law abiding people are disallowed.

Mr. Bhaskara Rao and Mr. Gangadhara Rao also drew the attention of the Chief Electoral Officer to the perfunctory manner in which vehicles are being checked for unaccounted cash and other voter inducements at constituency border check-posts. Since vehicles are not being checked within the constituency, political leaders and agents of traditional parties have been offering material inducements in a brazen manner. He urged the Election Commission to step up scrutiny of campaign vehicles to prevent blatant subversion of the voting process.

According to the Lok Satta leaders, the Chief Electoral Officer appreciated the Lok Satta Party concerns and offered to provide clarifications.

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