ADR Urges SC to Direct Prompt Disclosure of Voter Turnout Data

Mainstream
11-May-2024
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The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has petitioned the Supreme Court of India, seeking directives to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for the timely disclosure of final authenticated data regarding voter turnout in all polling stations during the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. Filed in the case of Association for Democratic Reforms & Anr. v Election Commission of India & Anr., the application underscores concerns arising from discrepancies in initially announced and final voter turnout figures, prompting doubts among voters and political entities.

The application highlights a significant surge in final voter turnout figures compared to initial estimates released by the ECI for the first two phases of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Notably, a discrepancy of 5-6% was observed in the final figures published on April 30, raising questions about the accuracy and transparency of the electoral process.

ADR's plea emphasizes the importance of transparency and accountability in ensuring free and fair elections, advocating for the disclosure of constituency and polling station-wise voter turnout data in absolute numbers and percentages. The association also calls for the publication of candidate-wise results compiled from Form 17C Part-II, which contains the outcome of counting.

Citing instances of political parties raising concerns over the delay and discrepancies in voter turnout data, including letters from the All India Trinamool Congress, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, and Communist Party of India (Marxist) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, ADR underscores the necessity of timely data disclosure to maintain public confidence in the electoral process.

The application seeks to prevent the erosion of voter trust by urging the SC to direct the ECI to upload scanned copies of Form 17C Part-I promptly after each polling phase, alongside ensuring transparency in the release of election results based on accurate and indisputable data. By advocating for prompt disclosure of voter turnout data within 48 hours of polling closure, ADR aims to uphold democratic principles and safeguard the integrity of the electoral process in India.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer, MIT ADT University