Delhi will have 3.49 lakh first-time voters
An estimated 3.49 lakh first time voters in the age group of 18 to 19 will exercise their franchise in Assembly election in Delhi slated for November.
As per the electoral roll published on Wednesday, the total number of voters in the city have been estimated at 1,14,88,752 out which 63,68 694 are men and 51,19517 are women voters. The young voters population stands at 3.04 per cent of the total electors population.
The number of total eligible voters in 2008 assembly polls was 1.07 crore while it went up to 1.11 crore when Lok Sabha election had been held in 2009.
Delhi’s Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said voting will take place in 11,763 polling booths in 2603 locations. He said 634 polling locations have been identified as “critical” and special security measures will be put in place in those areas.
He said the Election Commission will continue updating the electoral roll till 10 days before the last date of filling the nominations for the assembly polls though the final electoral roll has been published. Giving details about steps to encourage eligible youngsters to exercise their franchise, Dev said the Commission has appointed one “ambassador” each in 863 educational institutions to ensure all students get their names enrolled in voters’ list.
He said 110 camps have been organised in schools and colleges for enrolling students since April. 324 camps were also orgnaised in areas where percentage of women electorate is very low. A total of 7249 homeless people have been enrolled in the voters’ list.
Dev said the upper limit for expenditure will remain at Rs 14 lakh for candidates.
As per the provisions, each candidate will have to open a separate bank account for making transactions of receipt and payment for election purposes and details of such account will have to be submitted to returning officers at the time of nomination.
To keep a check on expenditure, assistant expenditure observers will maintain a “shadow expenditure register” of each candidate for all expenditures made by candidates and the same would be compared with the expenditure register maintained by the candidates.A total of 541 eunuchs have also been enrolled in the voters list under “others” category.
The electoral roll features 154 electors who attained age of 100 and above while 68,392 are in the age bracket of 80 to less than 100.
To encourage voters to exercise their franchise, the Commission has made special arrangements at all the 11,763 polling booths.
Dev said a detailed videography of all polling stations have been done so that all required basic facilities can be arranged.
“Voters ususally have to stand in long queues, they don’t have places to sit, there are is no arrangement of drinking water and toilet in polling station location, because of which voter turn out is less and there is urban apathy. We are addressing all these issues,” he said.
Dev said the Commission will launch campaigns through print, electronic media and by way of organizing debate, competitions, discussions, rallies in schools, colleges and university campus, to educate voters on the legal provisions against bribery. “It will be emphasised that both taker and giver are liable for punishment which is up to one year of imprisonment”, he said.
“Public will also be made aware of other corrupt practices which attract disqualication on conviction. This is to curb the money power in the elections,” he said.
Dev said that for the first time, voters will be given slips which will include their photographs as well as details like polling station and voter serial number in the roll.
“These voter slips can also be used as an alternative identification document by a voter for the purpose of casting vote in the polls,” he said.
He said people can check their names in the electoral roll by through SMS service by dialing 9211728082. The service was launched in July and since then 36,952 people have used it.
Dev said the Commission has found out that names of around 35,000 staff members of various departments and 9,000 police personnel were not registered. The Commission will launch a special drive to include them in electoral list.
(With inputs from agencies)
Niticentral Staff is a Guest Contributor at Niti Central.