De-duplication software to check bogus voters

The EC has found more than one lakh duplicate voters, most from neighbouring states

In the run up to the Assembly elections, scheduled for later this year, Delhi Election Commission has identified over a lakh duplicate voters some with the same addresses and others with different addresses under different constituencies. To overcome the problem and ensure fair polling process, the election commission (EC) has, for the first time, got a de-duplication software that will help detect bogus voters.

At a later stage, the EC also plans to link the voters' database with the national population register to check any possibility of duplicate voters.

A senior EC official said the problem is more with Delhi districts bordering Haryana, UP and Rajasthan. Most cases of duplication were detected from districts like Gurgaon, Jhajhar, Ghaziabad, Faridabad, Sonepat, Noida and Greater Noida, the official said. The residents of these cities also have voters cards from Delhi districts.

"The de-duplication software is being used for the first time in India for the Delhi elections. We initially plan to run the software across all the bordering districts. Since possession of more than one voter's card is not a cognisable offense, recommendations regarding the same would be sent to the Central Election Commission (CEC), which will decide on such cases," the official said.

After an initial inquiry by the EC, the CEC will decide which of the duplicate voter cards need to be cancelled. The decision to use the software was taken at a recent meeting of the Chief Electoral Officers of Delhi, Haryana, UP, and Rajasthan.

In another step to curtail the issue of bogus voters, the CEC has also planned to link the voters' database with the national population register. "In future, it can be the same set up. The camps set up by the district commissioners for national population register will also issue voters cards. While it will be a lesser hassle for the citizens, it will also help in streamlining the system and database," Delhi's Chief Electoral Officer Vijay Dev said.

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