The Election Commission of India has initiated steps for preparing a common electoral database for its Parliament and Assembly constituencies,which can also be used for local body elections in states.
The EC has selected two districts Muzaffarnagar in UP and Karnal in Haryana where the common electoral data base will be introduced on a pilot basis. If such common databases are prepared in the states,the EC will use it for preparing its photo-electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections,while the state election commissions (SEC) can use them for preparing photo-electoral roll for elections in urban local bodies and gram panchayats.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the EC with Chief Electoral Officers and officials of the Election Commission of different states,held in Delhi recently.
Presently,the EC and State Election Commissions have separate electoral rolls. They carry out registration of voters and updating of electoral rolls separately. The numbers of voters in their electoral rolls usually vary.
UP Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha said,The common electoral database will be updated annually or before the elections,and names of voters will be added directly to it. The EC and SEC will use the same database to prepare separate electoral rolls for their respective elections.
For elections of urban local bodies and gram panchayata,SEC will use the database to create electoral rolls according to municipal wards and panchayats,whereas EC will use the same database to prepare its electoral roll for Lok Sabha and Assembly seats.
It will save the time,money and manpower of both EC and state election commissions, Sinha said. The common database will have photographs of voters to prevent impersonation,which is possible in local body elections currently because state election commissions have electoral rolls without photographs of voters.
Muzaffarnagar District Magistrate Surendra Singh said,The EC has sought a work plan within a month for preparing a common electoral database that will be like a mother electoral roll.
Singh said that analysis of electoral rolls of Khatauli Assembly constituency,three municipal wards of Khatauli nagar panchayat and three gram panchayats have started. Umesh Sinha said that the exercise will take at least one year if implemented across the state.