New Delhi: With the largest democracy in the world gearing up for the general elections, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has just released a report based on an intensive Special Summary Revision 2024 (SSR 2024) of the electoral rolls.
As per the SSR – the latest electoral roll – 96.88 crores are registered to vote for the upcoming general elections in India, an increase of 6 per cent registered voters from the last-held general elections in 2019.
The ECI has recently published the electoral rolls in all States and Union Territories across the country with January 1, 2024, as the qualifying date. This also included the successful completion of the revision of electoral rolls in Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, following the delimitation of constituencies.
As per the ECI data, a significant increase has been observed in registrations amongst women, youth and Persons with Disabilities (PwDs) with female voters’ registration surpassing that of male voters by over 15 per cent in 2024. More than two crore young electors in the age group 18 and 29 have been added. Eligible unregistered electors can still enrol as voters under continuous updation of electoral rolls.
Electors’ Data 2019 versus 2024
Total electors 89.6 crore (2019) 98.8 crore (2024)
Male electors 48.5 crore (2019) 49.7 crore (2024)
Female electors 43.1 crore (2019) 47.1 crore (2024)
3rd gender electors 39,683 (2019) 48,044 (2024)
PwD electors 45.64 lakh (2019) 88.35 lakh (2024)
Electors aged 18-19 1.5 crore (2019) 1.85 crore (2024)
Highlights of the SSR 2024
Inclusive Participation: From gender parity to including PwDs to vulnerable tribal groups and the third gender to the young voters as well as senior citizen voters, inclusivity has been emphasised in the newly published electoral rolls. With meticulous planning and coordination, the electoral rolls showcase inclusivity reflecting the vibrant diversity of India’s electorate.
Gender Parity: There has been a remarkable increase in female voter registrations, signifying an effort towards gender parity and inclusivity within the electoral framework.
The electoral roll gender ratio has surged positively. Over 2.63 crore new electors have been included in the electoral roll, out of which around 1.41 crore are female electors, which surpassed the newly enrolled male voters (1.22 crore) by over 15 per cent. The gender ratio has increased from 940 in 2023 to 948 in 2024.
Youth Engagement: More than two crore young electors, spanning the 18-19 and 20-29 age groups, have been added to the electoral roll. Special Assistant Electoral Registration Officers (AEROs) were appointed at the constituency level to facilitate youth enrolment directly from educational institutions, fostering greater civic engagement among the younger populace.
Empowering PwD Electors: Serious efforts have been made to support Persons with Disabilities (PwD) by marking around 88.35 lakh PwD electors in the electoral roll database, ensuring accessibility and inclusivity on polling day.
Focus on Tribal Groups: Special endeavours have been undertaken to achieve 100 per cent registration of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), making the electoral rolls the most inclusive to date.
Advance Applications to 17 plus youth: A total of over 10.64 lakh advance applications have been received regarding three subsequent qualifying dates of the year, i.e. April 1, July 1 and October 1, when these advance applications shall be disposed of in the relevant quarters.
Rigorous scrutiny and clean-up: After a thorough house-to-house verification, names of 1,65,76,654 deceased, permanently shifted and duplicate electors have been deleted from the electoral rolls. It included 67,82,642 dead voters, 75,11,128 permanently shifted/absent voters and 22,05,685 duplicate voters.
Special emphasis was given to pre-revision activities, including training of all the field officials involved in the SSR activities and the intensive house-to-house verification by the Booth Level Officers (BLO).
The activity of house-to-house visits was carried out by the Booth Level Officers (BLOs) during the pre-revision period to identify all non-enrolled eligible citizens, prospective electors regarding the subsequent qualifying dates, multiple entries/dead electors/permanently shifted electors and for the correction of entries in the electoral roll. Instructions were also issued to the electoral machinery for the identification and deletion of dead/permanently shifted/duplicate electors.
Focus areas in preparation of electoral rolls
Transparency Measures: Frequent and regular meetings were conducted with political parties at various stages of SSR at the level of chief electoral officers, district election officers and electoral registration officers.
Sharing of copies of draft and final electoral rolls to recognised political parties free of cost was undertaken. Inviting, publicising and regular updation of the list of claims and objections to all political parties on the websites and ERO’s notice board was done. Deletions were made strictly following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and after due verification of Form 7 and field verification.
Purification of electoral rolls: Purification of electoral rolls was done through deletion of duplicate/multiple entries, deletion of names of dead voters, removal of discrepancies in EPICs (Election Photo Identity Cards) and enhancing the image quality of photos of electors in electoral rolls.
Special efforts to bridge gaps were undertaken in the parameters such as electors/population ratio, gender ratio and age cohort (especially the 18-19 and 19-20 age groups)
Inclusiveness: Identification of PwDs in the electoral database to facilitate PwD voters’ participation on the poll day, special emphasis on the enrolment of youth right from educational institutions, targeted drives to increase enrolment of female electors to improve the electoral gender ratio, focused strategy for the increasing enrolment among the third gender community and special efforts for 100 per cent enrolment of Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG).
What is SSR 2024?
Article 324 of the Constitution of India as well as the Representation of the People Act, 1950 mandates the Election Commission of India for the preparation and maintenance of electoral rolls for each constituency.
Keeping in view the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024, the ECI, to achieve high fidelity electoral rolls, on May 29, 2023, ordered to conduct a Special Summary Revision (SSR) of electoral rolls regarding January 1, 2024, as the qualifying date in all the states and Union Territories (for the five recently poll gone states and Assam, where delimitation of constituencies has taken place, SSR with the separate schedule has been conducted and was finished on Feb 8, 2024, with publication of rolls in these states).