Voter Registration – Flaws and Remedies

The first phase of polling has come to an end. Times of India and other newspapers carried stories of voters being turned away from the polling booths though they had genuine photo identity cards. The people who could not vote are neither hard-core criminals in prison nor are they aliens from Mars. They are ordinary citizens of this country and yet they were denied their inalienable right to vote. The reason – their name did not figure in the voters list!

Democracy and Voter Registration

The world’s largest democracy today is facing a peculiar problem. There is great uncertainty that has come to mark the timing of the elections in India. Everyone including the Election Commission is only talking in terms of probable dates of elections. This uncertainty is not due to the indecision on the part of the party leaders regarding the dissolution of legislatures. Rather, the uncertainty of the timing of elections is because no one in India exactly knows as to when we would have a complete updated electoral list of all the constituencies in the country.

Distorted Verdicts and Simple Solutions

dir="ltr">The impending elections to Legislative Assemblies in four major states, the dissolution of AP Assembly and the approaching Lok Sabha elections have significantly increased the political temperature in the country. While there is a natural curiosity about the outcome of these elections, most people’s concern is somewhat superficial. The general feeling is that the choice in most cases is between Tweedledom and Tweedledee, and much of the discussion is to whet our gamblers’ instincts – predicting who will win, and who will lose!

Elections and Voters’ Lists

Elections to MCH are round the corner. After a long gap of 15 years, blatant violation of the Constitution and a judicial directive, elections have been finally announced! Elections are vital to democracy. Unfortunately our electoral process is severely flawed. I am not talking merely of inducements, impersonation, intimidation, and myriad other things we talk of in our drawing rooms - but of flaws in the electoral rolls. Electoral rolls are the heart of an election and if they are flawed the whole process is perverted.

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