The draft electoral rolls have been issued in PDF-image format making it difficult for voters to check their names on the list.

Ktaka citizens collective approaches EC as draft rolls issued in wrong format againPTI/ Representational Image
news Karnataka 2018 Tuesday, November 21, 2017 - 16:48

Assembly polls in Karnataka are due in 2018 as the current Siddaramaiah-led government is set to finish its five-year term in May.  

As mandated by the Election Commission of India (EC), draft electoral rolls were made public by the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) and were published on its official website on November 3.

The draft electoral rolls are released to ensure that all eligible voters can check that their names are on the list and also bogus names can be pointed out and removed. Voters can also find out if their polling station has changed from the last time, as new polling booths get added.

But strangely, the electoral rolls have been uploaded in PDF image format making it difficult for people to find their names among thousands of other names. Moreover, in order to access the list, people have to enter a captcha (code), although it is a public document.

Incidentally, the Karnataka Draft Rolls of January 2013, were also published in a PDF-image format with captcha. Activists had even then objected to it and brought it to the attention of the then CEO.

A citizens' collective led by freedom fighter and social activist HS Doreswamy met newly appointed Karnataka CEO Sanjiv Kumar on Monday and submitted a memorandum asking him to rectify these anomalies.

In the memorandum, they also mentioned that uploading the draft electoral roll in PDF-image format was in contravention of Rule 11.2.2.2 of the October 2016 Manual on Electoral Rolls, issued by the EC in October 2016.

“Putting draft roll on website: Additionally, the draft roll shall be put in public domain, at Chief Electoral Officer’s website, in a PDF format on the same day. The draft roll shall be put on website in a text mode and no photographs would appear against the elector’s details. Instead it would indicate in the box meant for the photograph of elector whether the photograph is available or not,” 11.2.2.2 of the Manual reads.

The memorandum said, “Karnataka is the only state where the electoral rolls have been published in image format.”

“The publication of the Draft Rolls in an image format as opposed to text format disables the voters from easily accessing the Draft Rolls and prevents them from easily searching for their respective names.  The publication in such a format has caused prejudice to the voters,” the petition added.

The petitioners included Founding President of Citizen Action Forum, NS Mukunda, General Secretary of Bangalore Apartments Federation, Srikanth Narasimhan, CEO of Namma Bengaluru Foundation, Sridhar Pabbisetty, Convener of united Bengaluru, Suresh NR.

Also present among them was PG Bhat, who has been on a mission to make electoral rolls error free.

They also requested the state Election Commission to give 30 days to point out the errors on the list.

 

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