In a proactive endeavour, the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer’s office said it will establish special enrollment camps aimed at including transgender individuals, sex workers, and vulnerable women in the electoral register, as per officials who made the announcement on Saturday.
With the impending Lok Sabha elections scheduled for the following year, the CEO’s office recently issued recommendations to district electoral officers to orchestrate these specialized enrollment camps, specifically designed to encompass sex workers, destitute women, and homeless individuals within the voter database.
Currently, transgender voters are categorized as “Third Gender” in the electoral roll, which is incongruent with the Transgender Persons (Protection Right) Act of 2019. Accordingly, the communication has proposed that they should be officially referred to as “Transgender,” aligning with the Act’s provisions.
To foster inclusivity in the electoral process, district election officers have additionally been encouraged to commence the process of identifying and enrolling transgender individuals omitted from the electoral rolls by mapping their presence in the city.
Furthermore, it has been suggested that transgender individuals should be actively integrated into the electoral process through outreach initiatives and awareness campaigns, with the goal of encouraging their active participation in elections.
Officials have noted that, as per the 2011 Census, the transgender population in the city numbered 4,213. However, merely over 1,100 were registered as voters, with no current estimate available regarding their actual population in the city.
These recommendations stemmed from the inaugural meeting of the National Advisory Committee on Inclusive Elections (NACIE) convened earlier in June this year.
Officials have acknowledged that one of the significant impediments to the participation of sex workers in elections is multifaceted, encompassing challenges such as a lack of address proof, rejections of forms by Booth Level Officers (BLOs) due to the mobility of sex workers, and their inability to break away from their immediate surroundings to cast their votes, among other factors.
In response to these challenges, district election officers have been instructed to conduct enrollment camps in areas inhabited by sex worker communities.
The election office is also committed to facilitating the involvement of sex workers and women facing challenging circumstances, including destitute individuals residing in shelter homes or nari niketans, as well as those who are homeless, in the electoral process.
To achieve this goal, district electoral officers have been directed to organize enrollment camps and collaborate with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to employ a multifaceted strategy to ensure their active participation in the electoral process.
(With PTI inputs)