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Chief Electoral officer directs District Collectors to take strict measures on multiple votes

- March 27, 2021

Thiruvananthapuram, March 27(BPNS)

The Chief Electoral officer, Kerala Tikkaram Meena has directed the district collectors of the state to take strict measures on the basis of complaints received from opposition regarding double and multi entries of the same names in the voter’s list.

The district collectors, has on detailed investigations  found that several names were repeated in the list, with the same photos and with minor changes in address and other details.
Under normal circumstances, the duplicate entries are removed using ERONET de-duplication software. But in the case of states where elections have been announced, the direction from the election commission was to dispose of the applications received for adding the names to the voters’ list.
All the district collectors have been asked to constitute special teams under the electoral registration officers and remove the duplicate names by March 25. Those names, which are either confirmed or are suspected duplications are to be verified using the “logical error” facility of the software and have to be sent to the respective local booths for physical verification. This has to be conducted along with the distribution of the voters’ slip.
In this way, the list of duplicate names, after being verified by the booth-level officers has to be handed over to the returning officers before March 30. The voters in this list are to be specially noted and should be allowed to leave the polling booths only after the indelible ink is dried after application. If an anomaly is observed in a booth and that booth is not shortlisted for webcasting, such booths also will have to be covered under webcasting.
The commission also said that even if the polling agent does not object, it is the duty of the polling officers to identify and flag impersonation. The commission warned that if any such fraud is found, action will be taken against concerned polling officials.
The chief electoral officer asked all the district electoral officers and the returning officers to bear all these things in mind and supervise accordingly.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala had flagged more than three lakh duplicate voters in as many as 135 constituencies in the state and had approached the election commission for appropriate and immediate action in the matter. Meanwhile, BJP state president and candidate in Manjeswaram constituency K Surendran asked why the opposition leader did not flag the duplicate votes in Manjeswaram. He said there are more than 2,000 duplicate votes, and that he has approached the commission on it.