Andhra Pradesh polls: EC allays apprehensions about purity of electoral rolls

 The Election Commission has allayed apprehensions of some political parties in Andhra Pradesh about electoral roll updation and assured that it is committed to conduct free, fair, impartial, and inducement-free elections.

The poll panel has given clear and firm directions to electoral machinery and the entire bureaucracy to be impartial, transparent and accessible to all stakeholders to provide a level-playing field.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, along with other Election Commissioners and top officials, addressed a news conference on Wednesday at the end of their two-day visit to review poll preparedness for forthcoming simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the Andhra Pradesh Assembly.

The CEC said that a solid set of preparations is in place for the elections.

Andhra Pradesh is the first state the Commission visited in 2024 to review and consult stakeholders on what more needs to be done.

Rajiv Kumar promised all stakeholders the best possible electoral experience in 2024, truly befitting to the largest democracy of the world.

On complaints of political parties about additions and deletions of voters, he said each and every deletion and addition were verified and replies were sent to parties about their complaints.

The CEC said all deletions made from January 6, 2022 till August 30, 2023 have been re-verified by District Election Officers (DEOs). Out of the 21 lakh deletions made, only 13,061 deletions (0.61 per cent) were found to be incorrect and thus rectified.

On complaints regarding 14.48 lakh dead, shifted and duplicate voters, he said 5.65 lakh names were found to be either death cases or permanently shifted or double entries after verification and they were deleted.

On cases of door numbers with more than 10 voters, the CEC said house to house verification was done for 1.57 lakh house numbers having 20 lakh plus electors. Such house numbers reduced to 65,964 with 9.49 lakh voters at the time of draft publication on October 27, 2023.

Out of these 4.52 lakh have migrated to other places and 26,679 were non traceable. He claimed that 99 percent cases were resolved with shifting of address of migrated voters and deletion of non-traceable persons.

About voters with junk/zero characters door numbers, 2.52 lakh such households were identified. He said 97 per cent corrections with respect to such households completed by address corrections.

Stating that they have ensured purity of electoral rolls, Rajiv Kumar said if something is left out, they are ready to look into the same before final publication of electoral rolls on January 22.

On complaints about some people who voted in Telangana Assembly elections recently enrolling themselves as voters in Andhra Pradesh, he said all such cases will be closely looked into. He said if a person is found to be a voter in two places, criminal action will be taken against him.

As on January 5, 2024, the state has 4.07 crore voters with female voters outnumbering male voters. There are 1.99 crore male voters and 2.07 crore female voters. The electoral roll gender ratio, which was 1,027 in 2023 has now further improved to 1,036. There are 4.76 lakh PwD (person with disability) voters. The state had 5.8 lakh voters who are above 80 years of age. They include 1,174 centenarians.

Voters above 80 years of age can cast their vote from the comfort of their home. There are 7.88 lakh first time voters (18-19).

Andhra Pradesh has 175 Assembly constituencies including seven reserved for Scheduled Tribes (STs) and 29 for Scheduled Castes (SCs). There are 25 Lok Sabha seats including one reserved for STs and four for SCs.

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