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    HomeAndhra PradeshAP Chief Electoral Officer urges Collectors to remain vigilant against duplicate votes

    AP Chief Electoral Officer urges Collectors to remain vigilant against duplicate votes

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    The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Andhra Pradesh, Mukesh Kumar Meena, has taken action after receiving complaints from the YSR Congress Party about voters possessing duplicate votes. Meena has instructed district collectors to be cautious and ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

    The YSRCP had previously approached the CEO with concerns about voters having duplicate votes in Andhra Pradesh and neighboring states. They requested that action be taken against these voters. The party also expressed concerns that after elections in other states conclude, some voters may enroll again in Andhra Pradesh, with or without deregistration.

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    In response to the complaints raised by the YSRCP, the CEO wrote to all district election officers, urging them to be vigilant. He instructed them to file Form-7, along with supporting documents, in cases where there are objections to existing electors suspected of being duplicates, deceased, or having shifted their address. The CEO emphasized that bulk forms in physical format will not be accepted.

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    Meena stated that all forms filed by objectors should be promptly disposed of after a thorough investigation, following the guidelines of the Election Commission of India (ECI) and the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) dated August 11, 2023. He highlighted that enrolling as a voter at multiple places or being enrolled more than once in any electoral roll is prohibited by Sections 17 and 18 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.

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    Meena warned that providing false declarations while applying for enrollment can result in penal action under Section 31 of the Representation of People Act, 1950. He also clarified that Form 6 should only be accepted from first-time applicants for enrollment. Any false declarations made by applicants can lead to imprisonment or a fine.

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    The CEO advised Booth Level Officers (BLOs) and Assistant Election Returning Officers (AEROs) to carefully scrutinize Form 8 applications for shifting from other states. They should search for duplicate names using EPIC numbers on the ECI portal and record any findings as comments on the forms. In cases of objections, a personal hearing should be conducted, and a final decision made by the Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) after considering all relevant factors.

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    To ensure transparency, the CEO announced that the list of claims and objections would be made available to all political parties on a weekly basis. Additionally, the list of additions and deletions would be published on the CEO’s website regularly.

    Overall, these measures aim to address concerns about duplicate votes and maintain the integrity of the electoral process in Andhra Pradesh.

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