Voting in BBMP elections

As a responsible social citizen, I decided to vote in the BBMP elections. I had moved to my new residence a year back, but had not got around to change my address in the electoral rolls. Not that I didn't want to do it, but having experienced the difficulties in doing this, I preferred to stick with the current registered address. This meant, I voted for a candidate in a different constituency from where I stayed. This was ok - the important thing was voting.

BBMP elections are probably the most relevant for a Bangalore citizen - since local issues are involved. I did see some campaigning in our neighborhood, strangely, no one turned up in our apartment (to my knowledge). Possibly, this is because, the candidates knew people had moved in recently and hence would not have voting rights in this constituency. Thus, I had no idea who stood for elections in my place.

Now, I needed to find out this information in the ward where I had voting rights. The place to go was Smartvote. When I visited this on Friday, the site was pretty slow. I had a tough time navigating the screens. I was startled to see that I could search for my name in the electoral rolls, provided I specified the correct ward. Now, the very reason to visit the site was to identify my ward my candidates. This was defeated. I knew my Assembly constituency and saw that there were 5 wards in this.

I searched by my EPIC number against each of the 5 wards and hit pay dirt at the third try. There was a match, but wait - what was my name? My name was incorrect, so was my father's name. Add age to it and it meant a 100% incorrect data. But wait, this data was perfect in my EPIC. The electoral roll had had errors and when I had gone to get my EPIC, the Election Commission staff had made corrections and assured me that this would be reflected back in the electoral roll. The only data which had got reflected back was my EPIC number.

The same issue applied for my wife as well.

I suspect this is true for most of the people. Electoral rolls are not kept upto date, especially corrections to spelling and age. Add to it, the difficulty in updating your address and it really puts off the interested voters.

Well! our names were there in the rolls. We knew who our candidates were from the BBMP Elections website. It was a "General (Women)" constituency. It was also nice to see the soft copies of the affidavits of each candidate available in the site.

The voting on Sun, 28th March was uneventful, since I was armed with the information on where my name was in the electoral roll. It was also nice to meet one of the candidates in the area after we had exercised our franchise.

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