The Centre recently stated that it will not change the Representation of the People Act, 1951 anytime soon to allow for a uniform electoral roll and simultaneous elections to all electoral bodies in the country. This comes after numerous complaints about the shared electoral roll and simultaneous elections.
Furthermore, no agreement has yet been achieved on the subject. In this post, you will learn about the electoral roll, simultaneous elections, and the common electoral roll, as well as their importance and implementation issues.
This article can greatly assist you in studying for such themes on the IAS exam, particularly the mains exam, where a thorough comprehension of topics is required for producing responses that earn high points.
Common Electoral Roll and Simultaneous Elections
The Electoral Roll of that constituency is a list in which the names of eligible electors typically a resident in that assembly constituency are listed in the voter’s list by the registering authority. This topic is covered in GS Paper-2, which also includes Constitution, Politics, Social Justice, Governance, and International Relations.
Types of Electoral Rolls in India
In most states, the voters’ list for panchayat and municipality elections differs from the one used for Parliament and Assembly in the current scenario. The rationale for the multiple lists is that in our country, two constitutional entities are responsible for overseeing and conducting elections.
#The Election Commission of India (ECI) was established in 1950 and is responsible for organising elections for the offices of the Vice-President and President of India, as well as state assemblies, Parliament, and legislative councils.
#Municipal and panchayat elections are conducted by state commissions, which are free to prepare their electoral rolls for local body elections. For these, they do not need to coordinate with the EC.
UPSC Important Notes
Because the SEC is administered by its state statute, some state laws allow the SEC to borrow and utilise the EC’s voter rolls in their whole for local body elections. As a result, the state commission uses the EC’s voter list to produce and amend the municipal and panchayat election rolls.
Except for Kerala, Uttarakhand, Odisha, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Nagaland, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, all states currently use EC’s lists for local body elections.
#Massive expenditures are necessary because our country is holding elections all year.
#The enforcement of the Model Code of Conduct during election season causes policy stagnation.
#Impact on critical service delivery.
#Putting a strain on vital labour employed during election season.
#As elections get more expensive, it puts pressure on political parties, particularly smaller ones.
What is the Common Electoral Roll?
Only one voter list will be utilised for Vidhan Sabha, Lok Sabha, and others under the Common Electoral Roll.
Advantages of a Common Roll: The most notable benefit of having a common roll is that it can save a large amount of time and money, as preparing a separate voters list requires duplication of effort and money.
The Need for a Common Roll: In its 255th report, the Law Commission of India suggested that a single electoral roll be adopted. In 1999 and 2004, the European Commission took a similar view, stating that having several electoral rolls causes voter confusion because their names may appear on one record but not on another.
Implementation of Common Electoral Roll
#Amendments to Articles 243ZA and 243K of the Constitution – Articles 243ZA and 243K of the Constitution deal with election times to panchayats and municipalities in the states. These two delegates to the State Election Commission have the authority to direct, supervise, and manage the production of electoral rolls and the conduct of these elections (SEC).
#Persuade state governments to change their laws and use the Election Commission’s (EC) voters list in municipal and panchayat elections.
#The transition to a single electoral register would necessitate a tremendous effort to achieve consensus.
#The limits of the EC’s polling station may not always match those of the wards when creating the voter’s list, which will cause issues.
What are Simultaneous Elections?
#One Nation, One Election introduced the notion of simultaneous elections, which refers to holding polls for the Panchayats, State Legislative Assemblies, Lok Sabha, and Urban Local Bodies at the same time every five years.
#It is a concept that aims to structure the Indian election cycle in such a way that elections to the Lok Sabha and State Assemblies are synchronised and both elections can be held in a short period.
#Save money: It can keep tabs on polling expenses and party expenses, saving a lot of public funds that could be put to better use.
#Better Governance: To achieve a short-term political advantage from a particular assembly election, it is common for ruling politicians to delay making difficult long-term decisions that will benefit the country in the long run. As a result, it will improve governance efficiency by lowering the use of populist methods by governments.
#Reduce the administrative load and security forces: This would ensure that government programmes are implemented on schedule and that the administrative apparatus is focused on development rather than electioneering.
#The duration of the Houses of Parliament is dealt with in Article 83.
#Article 85 deals with the President’s power to dissolve the Lok Sabha.
#The duration of state legislatures is addressed under Article 172.
They are held every few months in different parts of the country, which impedes the country’s growth efforts. As a result, it’s critical to do thorough research and discourse on the idea of having a shared electoral roll and holding simultaneous elections to avoid the model code of conduct’s impact on development projects every few months. The first step could be to get all parties together to collaborate and debate the subject, followed by a poll of the people.
Hopefully, this knowledge has proven to be useful in your UPSC preparation. You must do your best to stay up to date on current events and information to appropriately reply to questions on the exam.
During your UPSC preparation, you should seek out the most reliable sources of information so that you can study and recall everything. To adequately serve your country, you should make the most of your UPSC preparation session and learn about all of the activities and events.