Come on Bangalore, this is a call for action

In this letter sent out to citizens' networks in Bengaluru, Mohandas Pai, former Infosys Director and currently Vice President of the Bangalore Political Action Committee, is exhorting citizens to register enmass as voters for the coming state elections.

Dear Friends and fellow Bangaloreans,

Elections to our Assembly has been announced and it is time to bring in change.

Mohandas Pai. File pic: Wikimedia commons.

Every Bangalorean above the age of 18 would need to register, get his or her voter card and vote to create the Bangalore of our dreams. B.PAC and SmartVote have been running a campaign online, within company offices and campuses, college campuses and other places to get voter to register. Our volunteers are going all out to get 1 million new voters to register!

The difficulties have been many. The EC-Karnataka has an antiquated IT portal which breaks down often, maintained poorly by a vendor who can do better, very many mistakes in the voter list and unable to keep up with need. But we have a CEO who is open and helpful. The BBMP too has many challenges with a backlog but our Commissioner and AC are striving hard. We are hopeful and working with them to make this work. P G Bhat and his team are going all out to get this right along with our authorities.

We know there are many difficulties in getting registered as voters but we must not lose heart. The political parties are of course not being helpful. They are running campaigns to get their committed voters registered but ignoring the educated middle class. They are aware that Bangalore has changed, people will not accept bad governance, corruption, bad roads, no water, garbage filled streets and high levels of pollution. They are counting on the apathy of the educated middle class to get into power. But this time we must demonstrate our commitment to Bangalore and ensure good, capable, honest people become our representatives.

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This election marks a watershed for Bangalore. For the first time more than 40% of eligible voters are the educated middle class and they will determine the fate of candidates if only they get registered as voters before April 07, and then go out and vote on Election Day.

You will be pleased to know that the voter registration campaigns we have been doing across corporate campuses alone has resulted in almost 200,000 new voter registrations. These are Urban Educated voters, mostly young people voting for the first time, but also other older voters whjo have decided enough is enough and wish to play their part.

The efforts alongside our friend organisations has taken the total figure to over 300,000.

So come on Bangalore, this is a call for action. Please make your voice heard, please register immediately as voters, vote and show that you love Bangalore, you want a better Bangalore! It is a battle for our beloved city!

How to register?

  1. Identify your Assembly Constituency. Find out where the office is. You will need to ask friends, the local police station, the local post office.
  2. Go to your constituency’s office, carry all the ID documents you can (Passport, PAN card, Electricity bill, Ration card, Dirvers’ Licence, Telephone bill etc etc) that proves you are who you say you are, and proves your residential address etc. Take the originals and a set of copies.
  3. Follow the process at the office – and you will emerge fully registered. A young lady from Cox town told me this afternoon that it was easy, and done in 15 minutes.

Alternatively do it online.

  1. Go to the website of one of B.PAC’s friends: Smartvote. The website is www.smartvote.in
  2. On the toolbar, point your cursor to "Voters Area" and on the drop-down menu click on "Register Online". It will take you to the Chief Electoral Officer’s website.
  3. Register yourself first. Then follow the instructions. It’s as easy as that. It may close down on you and ask you to start again, which happened twice to me before the third time finally went all the way through, but it does get done finally.
  4. Once you’re registered, you will receive six pages to print out, fill up, attach supporting documents to – and deliver to the Election Officer at the BBMP address provided.

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