Jammu, Jan 22: The final electoral rolls have been published here on Monday in all Polling Stations, offices of Electoral Registration Officers, District Election Officers and hosted on the website of Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir with addition of 2.31 lakh new voters.
According to a press handout issued by the office of Chief Electoral Officer in this regard, 86,000 names have been deleted because of death, shifting or other reasons besides correction in details of 1.45 lakh electors during the process. As of now, there are 86.93 lakh electors including 44.35 lakh male and 42.58 lakh female voters. The elector population ratio has improved from 0.59 to 0.60 and gender ratio from 924 to 954.
As per the detailed directions of Election Commission of India (ECI), the process of Special Summary Revision of Electoral Roll with qualifying date as 1st January, 2024 was carried out. The process involved two major stages, the first stage was with regard to training of EROs, AEROs, BLOs etc., house to house visits by BLOs and rationalization of Polling Stations which was carried out from June to September, 2023. During the process, as per the criteria of the ECI, 259 new Polling Stations were created by following process of consultation with the Political Parties. During the house to house visits, BLOs raised awareness among the population. The second stage activity was started with publication of Draft Electoral Roll on 17th October, 2023.
For involving stakeholders including recognized State and National Parties, the District Election Officers (DEOs) held meetings with them, briefed them about the total process to be followed and appealed them to participate in the process by way of appointing Booth Level Agents, so that they can assist the Booth Level Officers in addition/deletion/correction/transposition of eligible voters.
The CEO, J&K has also specifically written DO letters to the State Level functionaries of recognized State and National Political Parties, highlighting the major stages of the revision and solicited their active support in the total process.
In order to make the general public aware about the Revision of Electoral Rolls, necessary press releases/advertisements were given in the leading news papers through the Information Department. Apart from advertisement/news in print media, awareness was also created through the electronic media, social media, hoardings etc.
The general public was made aware with respect to fact that how to apply, where to apply for addition, deletion, correction, transposition in the Electoral Roll. The toll free number and voter helpline app usage was also prominently highlighted while carrying out public awareness campaign. The period for filing claims and objections was up to 30th November, 2023, during this period 4 special camps were held on 4th, 5th, 18th and 19th November, 2023.
The EROs as per the detailed directions of the Election Commission of India accepted claims and objections and following due process decided on them by 12th January, 2024. They also dealt with Demographically Similar Entries and Photo Similar Entries at the Part and AC level.
In order to supervise and closely monitor the total process, 4 Special Roll Observers were appointed in addition to two Divisional Commissioners. The Roll Observers visited the offices of EROs, Polling Booth and also attended the Special Camps. During their field visit and table top exercise, they conveyed the necessary directions so as to make the process complying with the directions of the Commission.
In order to cover the eligible voters of Kashmir migrants, 4 Special AEROs held camps in their areas and the process was supervised by Relief and Rehabilitation Commissioner (Migrant). The endeavor was made to cover the specially abled persons, elders above the age of 80 years so as to mark them on Electoral Rolls. The weaker and vulnerable sections such as nomads, women and third gender besides others were given sufficient attention.
The weekly status of disposal of claims and objections was put in public domain. The effort was made to make the Electoral Roll healthy. Despite holding special meeting, writing DO letters, few Booth Level Agents were appointed by the parties. However, pro-active involvement of members of Panchayat Raj Institutions and other Village Level functionaries was received.