GUWAHATI: To boost transparency and efficiency in its democratic processes, the Assam State Election Commission (ASEC) has rolled out the draft photo electoral rolls for the upcoming panchayat elections later this year. Assam is introducing a digital electoral roll for the first time, replacing the usual printed lists.
About 1.76 crore registered voters, comprising 89 lakh male and 87 lakh female participants across 40 districts and subdistricts, is set to partake in these elections. Breaking it down further, the state will have its electorate casting votes for 420 zila parishad constituencies, 185 anchalik panchayats, 2195 gram panchayats, and 21936 wards, distributed across 23684 polling stations.
The draft photo electoral roll, published on Friday, excludes Sixth Schedule and municipal areas and can be accessed by electors using their EPIC number provided by the Election Commission of India (ECI). The ASEC encourages individuals to check their details, with provisions in place for voters to raise claims and objections from August 28 to September 12.
This digital foray has been made possible by the Online Electoral Roll Management System (OERMS), a web-based application software tailored by the National Informatics Centre (NIC), to address the unique demands of panchayat electoral rolls. By going digital, ASEC aims to enhance “transparency, accessibility, and purity” in the electoral process – a pioneering effort for panchayat elections in Assam.
To ensure the success of this digitised approach, the ASEC has trained officials at district and sub-divisional levels, employing a blend of video conferencing and on-ground training facilitated by the District Informatics Centres of NIC. A team of IT professionals, legal experts, and logistical support members has been working tirelessly over the past months, ensuring the seamless execution of the electoral roll preparation.
The ASEC also highlighted the procedure for curating panchayat electoral rolls, which involves extracting relevant segments from the respective Legislative Assembly electoral rolls, as stipulated by the Assam Panchayat (Constitution) Rules of 1995. It’s important to note that the date of eligibility for voters has been set at January 1, 2023.