Election Commission ought to create awareness among the electorates as to how a person whose name is missing from voters list can utilise his or her right to vote giving genuine proof of their identity.
Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI — Is your name missing from the voter’s list? Don’t fret or complain, for still there are chances of you being able to vote even if your name goes missing from the list.
Remember, even if your name goes missing from the electoral rolls, it should be present in the list of Absentee, Shifted and Dead (ASD List), which every presiding officer of each polling both has with him or her. So, if a voter’s name goes missing from the voter’s list, simply walk into the booth and ask the presiding officer for the ASD list. If your name is listed in it, then after providing the necessary documents followed by its verification, you will be able to vote.
“List of ASD voters should be prepared polling station wise and it should be ensured that each Presiding Officer should be provided with a separate list of Absentee, Shifted and Dead Electors (ASD list),” states the instructions given by the Election Commission in the Handbook for Presiding Officer.
“The AST list is supposed to be supplied to every polling station. A voter whose name is in that list, he can go and vote as per instruction 18.1.2 of the Handbook for the Presiding officer,” said retired IAS officer Mohammed Sanaulluh while talking to Caravan Daily.
The handbook further states, “On the polling day, in order to cast one’s vote, the elector, whose name is in such list (ASD list), has to produce EPIC for his identification or any other alternate photo document personally and have the details properly registered by the concerned polling officer in the Register of Voters in Form 17A.”
According to the instructions, the first polling officer is required to inform the polling agents about the ASD electors. The thumb impression of ASD voter is mandatory even the elector can sign. A declaration shall also be obtained from them.
“Presiding Officer shall maintain a record and give a certificate at the end (to be kept with Form for scrutiny) stating that so many electors from the list of absentee and shifted electors had been allowed to vote after proper scrutiny,” reads the handbook. They can be photographed or video-graphed by the polling officer for their record.
A voter from Bangalore who has voted despite her name missing from the electoral list. Mariam Tahoora was shocked when she discovered that her name was missing from the electoral list. Then, retired IAS officer Sanaullah told her that she could still vote. He explained the procedure to exercise her right.
“I’m not sure how my name got into the deleted list because we had not applied for deletion. My entire family voted. They were able to vote at the polling booth where we generally go to cast our votes. But my name was not in the electoral list. When I went to ask the polling agent, I saw my name on the list she had. She informed me that my name was in the deleted list,” Tahoora told Caravan Daily.
When the polling agent was not cooperative, she called her acquaintance who directed her to Sanaullah. He told her that if her name is in the deleted list, she can vote. She would have to talk to the presiding officer. She did so. “It still took me about an hour to convince the presiding officer that I could vote,” she said. Then, the presiding officer talked to her senior. After showing and furnishing the copy of her aadhar card, she could vote.
“It was the responsibility of the election commission to create awareness about this. I request the media fraternity to write about it. Because one gets this opportunity to vote once in five years. If we let it go because of our ignorance, then we will have to wait for another five years. But the problem is that the voters whose name is in the deleted list can only vote. A huge number of people don’t even have it in the deleted list,” said Khalid Saifullah, who have been working on the missing voter issue.