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India removes 9.8M entries from voter roll after biometric, demographic deduplication

India removes 9.8M entries from voter roll after biometric, demographic deduplication
 

A biometric de-duplication exercise carried out by the Election Commission of India (ECI) has found almost 10 million duplicate entries in the country’s voter register, Hindustan Times reports, in the last seven months.

Entries for voter identity cards found to have duplicate demographic information or photographs have been removed from the registry, and the Times article also refers to roughly 2 million corrections to the records.

The deduplication process had motivated the ECI’s move to allow people to link their Aadhaar accounts and voter identity cards on a voluntary basis, though the linkage is currently being challenged in court.

Nearly 1.2 million entries with demographics too similar to others were found, and just over 927,000 of them deleted, an anonymous ECI official told the Times. The Chief Electoral Officers of state governments set out the criteria for unacceptable demographic similarity.

Nearly 31.9 million photo entries were found to be similar, and 9.8 million deleted.

There were approximately 900 million voters eligible for India’s 2019 election, 84 million more than in 2014, suggesting the current total may approach a billion.

A recent voter registry deduplication exercise in Nigeria resulted in the removal of 16.5 million entries from the country’s voter roll, though some were removed for being incomplete.

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