In the first-of-its-kind initiative to register young voters ahead of the civic elections due next year, the Pune district administration has decided to approach colleges to appoint nodal officers to enrol students as voters at the college itself.
Students who turned 18 on January 1 this year will be eligible for inclusion in the revised electoral rolls, which is to be completed by August 31 this year.
Pune at present has 67 lakh voters, according to the electoral list published in January this year.
“Following a directive from the State Election Commission to enrol new voters for the civic elections due early next year, all colleges have been asked to start a help desk and appoint a nodal officer for new registrations,” said deputy election officer Samiksha Chandrakar Gokule.
A meeting of all the colleges in the district will be held with the SEC after which nodal officers would be appointed and given training, she said.
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The drive is part of the special summary revision of the voters list as declared on May 25.
District officials say students can fill voter registration forms and submit the same along with necessary documents at the help desk in their college, which would be collected by nodal officers and submitted to the district administration. Voter IDs would be distributed in the college itself.
During the drive, voters already enlisted can also check their names in the voters list online on the Election Commission’s website as well as the district collectorate’s website. “The drive would also address the issue of missing voters or those who shifted and those with no Electoral Photo Identity Cards ahead of these elections,” said district officials.
Voters have also been urged to correct their name spellings and photos during the drive, which will also undertake deletion of duplicate entries ensure a clean voters’ list. The district administration has sought names of those who have passed away from the corporations, councils and zilla parishad so that their names could be deleted from the voters’ list.
Last year, before the final voters’ list was published in January this year, district election officials had deleted nearly 3.50 lakh names from the voters’ list in Pune district. State-wide, about 34 lakh names were deleted after failure to trace these voters.
“People do not intimate election officials regarding change of address/city. This results in deletion of their names. Such voters have been urged to re-register ahead of the polls,” officials said.
Election officials will also hand over the voters’ list to corporators and political parties, which can re-check the names and ask voters whose names have been deleted to apply afresh for inclusion in electoral rolls.