Over 1.1 million new voters register for coming polls

Published On: August 20, 2017 07:18 AM NPT By: Bhadra Sharma

KATHMANDU, August 20: Over 1.1 million new voters have registered with the Election Commission (EC) during the election body’s nationwide biometric voter registration campaign. 

“As per preliminary details provide by our local offices, the voter roll has increased by over 1.1 million voters. The number of new voters will not exceed 1.2 million,” said EC Spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma. The local offices are still updating the details. 

The EC had conducted a month-long voter registration campaign ahead of the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections. Voter registration with photos and fingerprints, which began on July 16, was completed on Saturday, just days before the government’s preparations to announce the poll date. The government is preparing to announce the poll date by Monday. Both sets of elections will be conducted on the same day in view of the fast approaching constitutional deadline for concluding all three sets of elections. 

In order to avoid duplications and overlapping, the EC plans to verify the details of the voters soon after its local offices provide the list of newly added voters. It will then prepare voter ID cards for the new voters so that they can cast their ballots in the upcoming provincial and parliamentary elections. 

Over 14 million voters were registered with the election body for the recent local elections. But the election body resumed voter registration across the country arguing that many eligible voters had been left out in the registration process. Eligible voters were asked to appear before the 744 local units, district election offices, and other alternative offices arranged for updating the voter roll. 

The EC had continued with the biometric voter registration after the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections. The digital voter registration has helped end malpractices. The number of fake voters has decreased significantly.

The old voter  list included non-existent voters, including those who had migrated or had died. Additionally, there were cases of multiple registrations in the past. 

Altogether 17.6 million voters cast their votes in the 2008 CA elections. The number, however, decreased significantly after the EC introduced the biometric voter registration.

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