"The special drive started in January last year and around 17 lakh names were found either entered multiple times or the person was dead and the name was not removed from the list," an official said
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has deleted as many as 17 lakh names from the voters’ list in Maharashtra after revision ahead of the polls, an official said Monday. Some of these names were registered multiple times or the concerned voters had died, he said. More names were likely to be deleted in the coming weeks as the process of authentication of voters was underway, the ECI official said.
It was an ongoing process but picked up pace in the last one year ahead of the Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Assembly elections, he said. “The special drive started in January last year and around 17 lakh names were found either entered multiple times or the person was dead and the name was not removed from the list,” he said. It was also found that names of many married women, who had relocated, were not deleted from the voters’ list at their native places. At times, the changed names of married women were included in the lists at their relocated places without getting it removed from the previous list, he said.
“To prevent further swelling of the voters’ list, we asked our booth-level officers to visit every home and verify the names diligently,” he said. There were also people who relocated after getting jobs and registered themselves as voters there, but did not delete their names in the voters’ list at their native place.
“As part of the drive, 17 lakh such such names have been tracked and removed. For this, the consent of the person concerned or of the family has been taken. Not a single name has been removed without consent,” the official said. Asked how the ECI verified about the death of some of the voters before deleting their names, he said every local body has its own registry of birth and deaths taking place in its jurisdiction. “We collected the data from them and our booth-level officers personally visited their homes for verification. After proper intimation to families of the deceased, their names were removed from the voters’ list,” he added.
Maharashtra has a total of 8,73,30,484 voters, including 4,57,02,579 males and 4,16,25,819 females. A total of 2,086 voters have been registered in the ‘other’ category. Of the total voters, 2,24,162 are registered as persons with disability. Also, out of the total electorate, 42,45,945 are first time voters while 11,99,529 are those between the age group of 18 and 19. The state also has 256 NRI voters. Though the final voter list has been published, the ECI would accept forms for addition till the announcement of polls.