People from any part of India living in J&K can now vote in polls: CEO

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25,000 new voters should be registered

Srinagar- Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir, Hirdesh Kumar, said on Wednesday that citizens from other parts of the country, who are studying or doing business in the union territory, can register as voters and exercise their right to vote in the next elections in the old state, probably to be held next year.

The CEO also said that about 25 lakh new voters are expected to be registered in the Union Territory as the special summary revision of voter rolls is held for the first time after the repeal of Section 370 in 2019.

He also described the ongoing exercise to complete the special summary revision of voter lists by November 25 as a “difficult task”.

The massive exercise to complete the process on time continues to ensure that all eligible voters, including those who turned 18 on or before October 1, 2022, are registered to provide a final “error-free” list. , said Kumar.

According to the postponed schedule released by the electoral commission recently, a draft integrated voters list will be released on September 15, while the period for filing complaints and objections has been set between September 15 and October 25, followed by the provision claims and objections on November 10. .

The verification of the health parameters and the obtaining of the authorization of the commission for the final publication and the update of the database and the printing of the supplements have been fixed for November 19 before the publication of the final electoral lists on November 25.

“The special summary revision of the voters lists is taking place for the first time since January 1, 2019, and we therefore expect massive changes in the voters list in view of the fact that a large number of young people have reached the age of 18 or 18+ in the last three years.

“After the repeal of Section 370, many people who were not on the voter rolls in the former J&K State are now eligible to vote and, in addition, anyone ordinarily living can also enter the opportunity to register for J&K voters under the representation provisions of the Peoples Act,” Kumar told reporters here.

He said the projected population of J&K, who is over the age of 18, is around 98 lakhs, while the number of registered voters is 76 lakh according to the latest voters list.

“We are expecting an addition of 20 to 25 lakh new voters in the final list,” Kumar said, adding that booth level officers, voter registration officers, assistant voter registration officers and District election officers have been sensitized to ensure that the final list will be “error-free” and will also cover all eligible voters.

Kumar said it is not necessary for a person to have a certificate of residence from J&K to become a voter. “An employee, student, laborer or any outside person who usually lives at J&K can put their name on the voting list. The documents will be reviewed by the relevant government officials who will decide if they are satisfied with the claim. He said that, as in the past, many J&K residents who work in the armed forces and paramilitary forces and are posted outside the territory of the Union have the opportunity to register as service voters and can take advantage of the possibility of a postal ballot to register their choice at election time.

“Similarly, those from different parts of the country who are posted here have the option that if they are posted in a peace post, they can register as voters. Jammu is a peace post and anyone from outside serving in the city’s armed forces can avail themselves of the option of enlisting as a voter,” he said.

He said that after the Boundaries Commission submitted its report on May 5 and the Union Department of Justice implemented the report on May 20, the number of assembly seats in J&K is increased to 90.

“All 90 constituencies have seen some sort of change… We are currently undertaking mapping of old constituencies with new constituencies and this will be followed by the Special Summary Revision (SSR),” Kumar said, expressing satisfaction with the pre- SSR in progress. Activities.

He said 600 polling stations have been added and the total number of polling stations across Jammu and Kashmir has risen to 11,370.

Kumar said the commission plans to undertake a door-to-door campaign and also organize special camps at educational institutions to sensitize eligible voters.

The Chief Electoral Officer said provisions have been made in the amended registration forms to link Aadhaar numbers to voter roll data, the purpose of which is to establish voter identity and authentication of registrations on the electoral lists.

He said the commission will issue new voter ID cards that will have new security features.

Regarding Kashmiri migrants residing outside the valley, he indicated that there is already a special provision for these displaced populations to enable them to exercise their right to vote.

“They (migrant Kashmiri Pandits) are registered as voters in their constituencies of origin. Special camps are being organized for them at different places including Delhi, Jammu and Udhampur for new voter registration and each of them will be given voter ID cards,” he said.

He dismissed the idea that Rohingya Muslims, who have taken refuge in Jammu and other areas, could get registered to vote. “We have officers in place and they know their duty.”

Regarding the holding of Assembly elections, he said that the Election Commission of India is the authority that can decide the timing of the polls.

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