Several NGOs, including India Against Corruption (IAC), Parivartan and Sajag Nagrik Manch (SNM), are joining hands to enable mass-level voter registration at the doorstep of new voters. Over 125 volunteers are targeting nearly one-lakh new voters by contacting the chairman of various housing societies in the city and its suburban areas to help their cause. The Election Commission has set a deadline of October 31 for new registrations in a special directive (2012/77/14C) issued through a letter on August 22.
Deepak Bharadia, coordinator IAC Pune, said, “As per the new directives, the chairman and secretaries of registered cooperative housing societies can double up as Booth Level Volunteers (BLVs). They are empowered to get society members registered in bulk. The election commission has prepared a special kit for BLVs to ensure the mass registration is easier.”
Deepak Tawari, coordinator of Parivartan, said, “The procedure is very simple for new voters, as one has to only fill the Form-6 and submit it along with supporting documents mentioned in the kit to their housing society’s office.
The society chairman will submit the filled forms to the Booth Level Officer (BLO) or Electoral Registration Officer (ERO). We are distributing the special kit to BLVs of various building societies located in Aundh, Baner, Bavdhan, Hadapsar, Khadakwasala as well as the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad.” Vivek Velankar, president, SNM, said, “This special drive will certainly eliminate the apathy about casting a vote during the election. We want to cover as many new voters, including IT professionals and senior college students. Our focus will be concentrated on Hinjewadi and Magarpatta in Hadapsar.”
Apurva Wankhede, deputy election officer, Pune District, said, “The new directives from the Election Commission is certainly helping us in spreading awareness to facilitate voting registration at various housing societies in the city. I am receiving a fairly good feedback not only from the city, but from the entire district too. NGOs who are taking the onus for the bulk registration drive are disseminating messages to housing societies and people now want the deadline extended beyond October 31.”
Jeetendra Shah, chairman, Ganesh Peth Housing Society, said, “10 per cent of my society members have already filled up the forms and given it to me. I am sure many more will do so in the future.” Similarly, Rahul Borkar, Aditya Shagun Society, Pashan, said, “New voters in our 450-member society are enthusiastic in registering themselves. But, many members working in IT or banking sector only get time on weekends and I expect a sizable registration from my society by the deadline.”