For enhanced participation of electors in the electoral process and reducing the electoral malpractices, it is essential to improve the quality of electoral registration process and of the electoral rolls. Booth Level Officer (BLO) is a local Government/Semi-Government official, familiar with the local electors and generally a voter in the same polling area who assists in updating the roll using his local knowledge. In fact, BLO is a representative of Election Commission of India (ECI) at the grass-root level who plays a pivotal role in the process of roll revision and collecting actual field information with regard to the roll corresponding to the polling area assigned to him.
Under Section 13B (2) of Representation of People Act, 1950, BLOs are appointed from amongst the officers of the Govt. /Semi Govt. /Local Bodies. Generally, one BLO is responsible for one part of the electoral roll. From August, 2006 the Commission has decided to introduce the concept of appointing BLOs who would be accountable for ensuring the fidelity of electoral roll.
The ECI introduced this new system of appointing BLOs creating a clear line of accountability for preparation of an error-free electoral roll, making the BLOs its custodian at the polling booth level. Previously, voter-identification slips used to be distributed by the contesting candidates of various political parties and that gave scope for complaints. The preparation of accurate electoral rolls and direct distribution of voter identification slip by the BLOs also boosted voter confidence in the credibility of the election process.
BLO assists eligible citizens to become voters and obtain voter card. BLO provides those different forms for addition, deletion and correction of Electoral Roll entries, carries out physical verification, and gives his/her report to Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) .The BLO interacts with local people/ political parties’ representatives and identifies dead/shifted/duplicate voters to be removed from the electoral roll after due process of law.
Within a few years of introduction of BLO system and successfully using it in successive elections, it has now become an integral part of election management of process.
PIB General Election Team- For more Backgrounders/Information Pl visit www. pib.nic.in
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