In a mandatory step towards holding the municipal elections in the State, the Jammu and Kashmir Election Authority (Chief Electoral Officer) has accomplished the task of final publication of municipal electoral rolls for all the 79 municipal bodies across the State.
The final electoral rolls have been updated and published under the close supervision of Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), J&K, Mr. Shantmanu, after undertaking special drive in all wards of the municipal bodies, and after appropriate disposal of claims from the various stakeholders regarding inclusion, correction, deletion of names as per the deadline set for the purpose, i.e. 31st March, 2016.
The draft rolls for Municipal Councils/Committees were published on 4th March, whereas in respect of Jammu and Srinagar Municipal Corporations on 9th March, 2016. The last dates for entertaining the claims/objections was 14th and 18th March, 2016 respectively.
As per the final electoral roll, there are 1605925 valid electors in all the municipal bodies across the State, which includes 825040 male, 780905 female There is an overall addition of 28182 voters over the draft roll which includes 11740 males and 16442 female. Similarly, there was a deletion of 10210 voters over the draft roll that includes 4669 male and 5531 females. There are 370078 electors registered with Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) comprising 188792 males and 181286 females. Similarly with Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), there are 641872 registered electors, including 332984 males and 308888 females.
Meanwhile, the CEO has also notified the reserved wards for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Women (Open Category), Women (Scheduled Caste) and Women (Scheduled Tribe) in JMC/SMC and all Municipal Committees and Councils of the State.
The Election Authority has taken several important reformative measures to ensure fair and free municipal elections in the State. The major step in this direction is to make use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the first time in the State instead of Ballots. The decision to use the EVMs stands taken in a recent State Administrative Council (SAC) meeting.
The Election Authority has completed almost all the necessary formalities for conducting the municipal polls in the State. As per the feedback received from the Deputy Commissioners, there are 2420 polling stations and 1403 polling locations have been identified and physically verified for ensuring the municipal elections.