After ‘insufficient’ response from first-time voters, drive to intensify

Collector says number of applications not enough, ‘campus ambassadors’ to reach out to colleges in August.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: July 26, 2014 3:31:40 am
. The enrollment drive witnessed more response from the urban areas as compared to the rural zones. . The enrollment drive witnessed more response from the urban areas as compared to the rural zones.

With just 25 per cent registration of first-time voters in the draft summary revision of the voters list carried out in June-July, the district administration has a mammoth task lined up – that of getting first-time voters to register themselves ahead of the upcoming assembly polls.

The two-month drive received over three lakh applications of which 2.59 lakh were for new voters’ registration in the district, of whom only 72,000 were for first-time voters.

With the draft summary voter registration drive to be published on July 31, there was less registration from the ‘first-time voters’. Youngsters will be the focus in the next voter registration drive that will continue in August till the election dates are announced.

Pune District Collector Saurabh Rao said of the 3.02 lakh applications received for the June- July drive, only 72,000 in the age group 18-19 years were first-time voters. He said this number was not enough and the administration would work towards it by appointing campus ambassadors and try and reach out to all colleges in August for a massive drive.

Presently, the June-July month long drive had the district administration receiving 3.24 lakh applications and the data entry was nearly done of all the applications received. “Almost 99 per cent data entry has been completed,” he added.

Pointing out that while the summary revision drive was to encourage voters to enroll themselves, Rao said although they had received a good response, there was a deficit in terms of the elector to population ratio which was 67.74 per cent for Pune district and the actual achievement was 63.5 per cent and the deficit was 4 per cent. “Nearly four per cent of eligible voters are still not yet registered with us and that makes it all the more important  that we reach out to this population in the August drive,” he added.

The administration had initiated the enrollment drive following a protest from angry citizens in June. The enrollment drive witnessed more response from the urban areas as compared to the rural zones. Of the 21 constituencies, the Parvati assembly constituency received the highest number of applications — 27,332, in all. The Velha constituency, however, was at the bottom of the chart, with 508 applications. In the city areas, the Shivajinagar constituency registered 4,724 applications, which was the lowest in the city.

Recently, the Election Commission had also said that letters be sent to those whose names were deleted in the voters’ list ahead of the drive. There were three lakh letters to be sent out by the postal department of which 79,909 letters, although sent, could not be delivered as the voters had shifted, were dead or absent. Of this the administration said 50,500 were delivered and the administration would have to check the details on who received the letter and database would be formed on the same.

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