EC to check veracity of doubtful voters: AP CEO

Amaravati: The Election Commission will launch an exercise to determine the veracity of an estimated 25,47,019 “doubtful voters” in Andhra Pradesh, the state’s Chief Electoral Officer said Wednesday.

The Commission will launch the exercise next week to determine the veracity of these voters even as the High Court of Judicature at Hyderabad posted a public interest litigation on the issue for hearing on 11 December.

“These cases are the ones which are doubtful and need verification in the field. They need not be fake. Whether they are fake or genuine will be known only after the field enquiry,” CEO Ram Prakash Sisodia said.

The field enquiry would take about a month, he told PTI. There are around 3.5 crore voters in the 13 districts of AP now. “Duplicate entries, those with the same name, name of father/husband, those having the same EPIC (electors photo identity card) number, those without a house number, where a voters age is either more than 100 or less than 18, etc., are treated as ‘doubtful voters’,” the CEO pointed out.

Anantapuramu district has the highest number of 3,55,819 doubtful voters followed by Chittoor (3,42,961), Kurnool (3,13,032), SPS Nellore (2,19,763), while Kadapa has the lowest 91,377, as per the Election Commission’s data.

A former MLA K Venkata Rami Reddy filed a public interest litigation in the High Court claiming that there are 52.67 lakh “duplicate voters” in the state. Of these, 18 lakh were said to be in electoral rolls of AP and Telangana.

“As per our figures, there are doubts over 25.47 lakh voters. We will clarify this to the High Court,” Sisodia said. A thorough verification of the voters’ list would be conducted by the polling booth level officers and care was being taken to ensure a foolproof list, he added.

“We will take necessary action if any staff resort to malpractices in preparation of the voters’ list. We are focusing on every constituency as the problem of doubtful voters has come to light. We will sure weed out duplicate voters,” Sisodia asserted.

Meanwhile, an official of the EC said the draft electoral rolls of the state would be published in the first week of January, 2019.