Democracy under siege

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The Electoral Rolls in India are neither verifiable nor auditable. This means that elections are held on a directory of people who may not exist, may live in different constituencies or even vote multiple times. Despite writing to the machinery in 2011 it has taken no cognisance of even arranging the rolls alphabetically or according to house number to make it easy to spot duplicates, fakes and deletions as is rehired under the rule 6 of the Registration of Electors Rules. 

The addition and deletion of names is outsourced by the Election Commission to Political Parties. There is no evidence to show that they would not be influenced by their conflict of interest in selectively adding or deleting names. To compound the problem the Election Commission of India has permitted use Aadhaar as the proof of address and proof of identity, that it is not. The Aadhaar is merely a random number assigned to access unverified and unaudited data submitted by various private enrolment agencies including political parties or their agents. The data held by these private parties can be used to fill forms that add persons to the electoral roll or delete them, and submit an Aadhaar as the POI/POA without the knowledge of the persons. 

Such Electoral Rolls, that are neither verified nor audited, amount to booth capturing or fraudulently interfering with the process of an election whereby members of a party occupy a polling booth, excluding and voting in place of those people who should be eligible to vote there.

Democracy is under siege. The elections are a sham under such Electoral Rolls. 



This presentation sums up the plight of Electoral Rolls in India giving an example of Pune.

Presentation at Seminar on "Role of Civil Society in enhancing transparency".

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Democracy under siege

  1. 1. 30th April 2014 Democracy under siege? Anupam Saraph
  2. 2. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ RTI Queries about Compiling Rolls 09/02/12 12:34 AMNewspaper View Page 1 of 1http://epaper.lokmat.com/newsview.aspx?eddate=02/08/2012&pageno=1&edition=10&prntid=875&bxid=25616766&pgno=1 2
  3. 3. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ NoVerifiable and Auditable Roll ✤ Rule 6 of the Registration of Electors Rolls: Electoral Rolls should have been alphabetically displayed like in a phone book or arranged by house numbers for easy spotting of missing names and duplicates or suspicious entries! ✤ Roll has hundreds of parts, none of which are verifiable or auditable 3
  4. 4. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Intensive Revision Not Done ✤ Rule 25 of the Registration of Electors Rolls: it shall be prepared afresh and rules 4 to 23 shall apply in relation to such revision as they apply in relation to the first preparation of a roll! ✤ Rule 32 Rolls and connected papers shall be kept in the office of the registration officer until the expiration of one year after the next intensive revision of that roll! ✤ Rule 33 Every person shall have the right to inspect the election papers referred to in rule 32 and to get attested copies 4
  5. 5. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ No verification of the Roll by door-to-door survey to update Block Level Registers as required in September 2011 ! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ Addresses and persons on Roll may not exist! ✤ Addresses and persons that exist may not be on the Roll 5
  6. 6. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ The task of submitting forms for addition and deletion of names is outsourced to political parties! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ Selective addition of those favourable to the party easy! ✤ Selective removal of those unfavourable to party easy! ✤ Addition of dummy voters to allow for fake voting and double voting easy 6
  7. 7. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ No verification of such forms submitted in bulk! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ All irregularities creep into the Electoral Roll! ✤ Electoral Rolls prepared with such irregularities fraudulently interfere with the process of an election whereby members of a party can occupy a polling booth, excluding and voting in place of those people who should be able to vote there; this is booth capturing 7
  8. 8. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ Use of Aadhaar as POI and POA: Aadhaar is a random number assigned to unverified and unaudited data submitted by private parties! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ Non-existing persons, residents of another location and even non-citizens can be enrolled ! ✤ Persons can be enrolled more than once, at locations other than where they belong and with multiple IDs 8
  9. 9. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ Netas doing bulk submission of Form 6 and 7 were also enrolment agents and introducers for Aadhaar! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ It is easy to create persons with similar identities in different locations to allow for fake or duplicate voting! ✤ It is easy for netas to submit forms on behalf of those who did Aadhaar registration with them without their knowledge! ✤ It is easy to doctor the Roll to favour the neat 9
  10. 10. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ Task of creating Roll outsourced to Aatishay Infotech: no verification or audit of Roll! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ Not all persons submitting Form 6 may have been included! ✤ Not all persons submitting Form 7 may have been deleted! ✤ Not all persons or addresses may actually exist 10
  11. 11. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ ERMS prints selective information and incomplete addresses on the Roll and EPIC! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ Persons on the Roll or with EPIC are not traceable! ✤ No audit of the Roll is possible! ✤ Persons can impersonate another claiming error in the information on the Roll 11
  12. 12. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Revisions of Electoral Roll ✤ Rolls and connected papers shall be kept in the office of the registration officer until the expiration of one year after the next intensive revision of that roll! ✤ Implies that:! ✤ No papers are ever available as intensive revision is a rare event! ✤ It is difficult, at best, to trace how names got into or out of the Roll 12
  13. 13. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ WhyWorry? ✤ The entire Electoral Roll is merely a compilation of names without any effort or intention for completeness, correctness or fair play! ✤ We are fooling ourselves by electing our representatives based on faulty Electoral Rolls ! ✤ Elections on these Rolls are neither free nor fair! ✤ Democracy is under siege 13
  14. 14. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ At least 35% non-existent Electors The number of people who would be expected to be on the Roll given the age-structure as published by the Census of India and the population of a constituency as published by the Election Commission 14
  15. 15. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Was 2014 Election Free and Fair? ✤ No new Rolls were made for 2014! ✤ Many “enrolment drives” added people in bulk ! ✤ Many deletion “drives” deleted people in bulk 15
  16. 16. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Pune Parliamentary Constituency No Assembly  Cons-tuency 195 Junner 196 Ambegaon 197 Khed  Alandi 198 Shirur 199 Daund 200 Indapur 201 Barama7 202 Purandhar 203 Bhor 204 Maval 205 Chinchwad 206 Pimpri  (SC) 207 Bhosari 208 Vadgaon  Sheri 209 Shivaji  nagar 210 Kothrud 211 Khadakwasla 212 Parva- 213 Hadapsar 214 Pune  Cantontment  (S.C.) 215 Kasba  Peth 16
  17. 17. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Electors in Pune PC parts in roll 2009 Electors Total Deletions (actuals) Voters Added (estimate) 2014 Electors (estimate) 208 Vadgaon  Sheri 385 3,34,873 57,981 50,231 3,27,123 209 Shivaji  nagar 265 2,72,480 65,785 40,872 3,97,500 210 Kothrud 313 3,02,507 75,794 45,376 4,69,500 212 Parva- 328 3,04,098 65,495 45,615 4,92,000 214 Pune  Cantontment  (S.C.) 266 2,92,496 74,194 43,874 3,99,000 215 Kasba  Peth 277 3,00,499 84,703 45,075 4,15,500 Total 1834 18,06,953 4,23,952 2,71,043 25,00,623 17
  18. 18. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ At least 60-75% Irregularity in Rolls Additions Deletions Existing Electors 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Non-Existing Electors 208 209 210 212 214 21518
  19. 19. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Free and Fair Polls! ✤ Unverified and unaudited Electoral Rolls used! ✤ Rolls modified further by adding and deleting electors! ✤ Less than 40% real electors in Rolls! ✤ No audit to certify all who voted were eligible or all who were eligible had ere on Rolls 19
  20. 20. (c)2014AnupamSaraph.ThisworkislicensedundertheCreativeCommonsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0UnportedLicense.Toviewacopyofthislicense,visithttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/ Can we Restore Democracy? ✤ Undertake an intensive revision of the Electoral Rolls through door-to- door visits by staff that is hired solely for this purpose! ✤ Use Google Maps to number each part of the Roll and each house on each street. Verify each address through the postal service delivering a two-part bar-coded postcard to the electors at each address, which they would be required to mail back to confirm the address! ✤ Have the CAG audit Rolls for their compliance to Rule 6 of the Registration of Electors Rules, completeness, correctness and fairness! ✤ Conduct free and fair elections as soon as such genuine verified and audited Electoral Rolls are available 20

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