ECI's voter registration comes at a 'cost'

The Election Commission will have to shell out more than Rs 9 lakh to accommodate new balloters

Even though the voter’s registration drive on March 9 faced hurdles along the way, it received a good response with the enrolment of 76,000 new voters from Pune district.

District election authorities foresee more citizens registering themselves by March 15 (the last date of enrollment). For election day to run smoothly and to accommodate the large number of voters, around 200 auxiliary polling stations are to be set up, which will increase the expenditure.

“We have to spend around Rs 12 per voter and if we consider the figure of new voters under the special drive, we have to shell out more than Rs 9 lakh just to meet the needs of 76,000 new voters,” said Deputy District Election Officer Apurva Wankhede. She added that along with the per voter expenditure, the ECI would also have to shell out more money for setting up every auxiliary polling station. 

“Setting up auxiliary polling station brings in additional expenses as entire new staff including polling officers have to be deployed at the centres. Additional stationary, transport arrangement for the staff and their allowances will also have to be taken care of. Providing additional voting machines is also a matter of concern with the increase in number of voters,” added Wankhede. 

>>  Voter’s registration drive on March 9 attracted 76,000 new voters
>>  200 auxiliary polling booths to be set up on election day

Poll booth stats

One polling station has the capacity for 1,500 voters. Anything beyond this requires more polling booths. “Many polling stations in the district have already reached the 1,400 voter mark which will now have to be divided into two polling stations,” Wankhede said.

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