Hyderabad: Entire families deleted from electoral rolls; names of 2023 Assembly voters also missing

According to election officials in Hyderabad, over 17,000 voters were deleted from the electoral rolls between January and April

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  13 May 2024 3:07 PM GMT
Entire families deleted from electoral rolls; names of 2023 Assembly voters also missing

Hyderabad: The fourth phase of Lok Sabha elections in India on Monday witnessed voters in Hyderabad facing a significant issue – missing names from the electoral list.

Despite their eagerness to exercise their democratic right, many electors, including the elderly and young, found themselves unable to cast their votes after their names were missing from the voters’ list.

Voters from the 2023 Assembly elections also excluded

Several voters voiced their frustration over the situation.

Srikanth Tummala, a resident of BHEL Township, expressed disappointment as he and his family members couldn’t find their names in the voters’ list despite casting votes in previous elections.

Praveen Thadi shared a similar sentiment, highlighting how his mother’s name was mysteriously deleted from the list, depriving her of the opportunity to vote.

“My mom’s name was found deleted from the voters’ list. When we brought this to the attention of the official there, he said that there was nothing he could do to help.”

“We had the necessary slips given by the local corporator with us when we reached the polling centre. But it was of no use as my wife’s name was not there on the list,” Praveen said.

“I wish to draw attention to the deletion of names from the voters’ list without any explanation. The removal of my family members – Mohammed Abdul Khadas, Afreen, Asiya Begum, and Mohammed Abdul – without notice undermines our right to vote. I urge authorities to restore our names and hold accountable those responsible for this oversight,” said Abdul Khadar from Basharat Nagar, Hyderabad.

"As a resident of Hyderabad, it's disheartening to witness the repeated instances of names being mysteriously deleted from the voter list. My spouse and I have experienced this firsthand, with her vote missing in both state and Lok Sabha elections despite consistent participation in previous polls. Even my mother-in-law faced the same fate. It's frustrating, especially when we take our democratic responsibility seriously. Today, as I returned from my hometown to cast my vote, my spouse returned disappointed from her own polling booth. This issue isn't isolated to just us – friends and acquaintances have shared similar experiences. Something seems amiss in Hyderabad's voter list management. With the complexities faced by AP voters added to the mix, it's imperative that authorities address these discrepancies promptly." Said another voter

These complaints are not isolated incidents. Residents who had previously voted found their names missing from the electoral rolls, sparking questions about the electoral management process.

17,000 voters were deleted in January and April

According to election officials in Hyderabad, over 17,000 voters were deleted from the electoral rolls between January and April, following an exercise to rationalise polling booths.

This process was aimed to address concerns about the capacity of electronic voting machines (EVMs) to accommodate votes from multiple polling stations, said officials. However, the reshuffling of voters’ names which led to deletion inadvertently led to confusion and frustration among electors.

Officials can't help

Election officials clarified that names were not deliberately deleted but might have been shifted to different polling booths. They advised voters to check nearby booths if they couldn’t find their names in the list. Deletion of names, they emphasised, is an extreme measure and is rarely executed.

When are names deleted?

Several conditions need to be met to warrant the removal of a voter’s name from the electoral list, such as death, duplication, migration or failure to be located during a door-to-door survey. However, names are typically deleted only after thorough verification and opportunity for objection.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) provides online platforms for voters to check their registration status. Electors can verify their details through the ECI’s website or the Voter Helpline app using their voter ID or EPIC number.

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