Families can be clubbed using House numbers of each voters. At times, there are joint families. For these, the initials of House numbers are same, and prefixes added in the end differentiate them for different houses.
Clubbing such houses would make sense for classifying them under similar demographic factors like caste and religion. This small step reduces ground survey efforts to do same exercise and in term reduces cost and time required for segregating entire voters in groups drastically. Eg. House No. 6 and House No. 6A could belong to a joint family. A relevant exercise to check.
Voter information is the most vital information for any aspiring candidate in an election. Voter List/Electoral Roll released by Election Commission gives all the information on voters of that area. Election Commission provides the voter list in pdf format. This voter list pdf is mostly used by the candidates for election management in their constituencies. Current usage of voter list is for these specific cases like last days voter slip circulation and on the voting day, educating voters of their serial number in voter list.
Researching extensively on voter list over time, we want to share with you that if you are using voter list in above ways then you are using it only 20% of its potential. Voter list is a very powerful planning tool and can bring real difference in all your approach and execution once you start using it 100%. Whatever your current expenditure is in contesting election would reduce at least 30-40% with superior productivity, more granular level of targeting and reach-out to the voters. Here’s is how?
Some Basic Advantages to having Voter List in Excel over having Voter List in pdf
Searching a voter with his name, voter id, sex, house number all is a 2 minutes affair in an excel voter list but a 20-30 minutes affair in a pdf voter list
Families can be grouped together giving number of voters in each family using excel but not possible with pdf
Each family head can be highlighted and segregated using voter list in excel, which is not possible using voter list pdf
It is possible to get the caste or religion segregation of different voters using the name analysis in excel which is not possible with pdf
Even if an individual voter does not have a surname but any family member’s demographic categorization is there, entire family can be categorized based on that, which is obviously not possible with pdf
As a public representative, our interest is to keep a record of our supporters, which can be entered in the excel by adding a new column, not possible with pdf
Phone numbers can be added in excel, not possible with pdf
Any information related to the individual, family, group, community can be added in excel, definitely not possible with pdf
Different kinds of categorization and visualization is possible using excel, not possible with pdf
Voters summary giving the macro picture on each parameter like number of households, average number of voters in each household, families with 4+ voters, 3 voters all of this is possible using excel which is not possible using pdf
Many advanced level insights are also possible once we start using our electoral roll in excel which we will discuss later.
As a part of our voter list research related to the Uttar Pradesh demographic population, while trying to categorize the voters in terms of the caste based vote bank towards the respective parties, we observed that in the latest voter lists have mainly the first names of the voters and their surnames are missing.
If I give you statistical figures than in a random constituency say Barthana in Etawah district having around 3.8 lakh voters, 2.1 lakh voters i.e. 55% voters have only their first names mentioned in the latest electoral rolls available on the website of State Election Commission of Uttar Pradesh. 45% of the voters have their full names mentioned.
When we did this exercise for the entire electorate of UP, we found that as large as 60% of the voters have only their first names mentioned in the respective voter lists of their booths. UP has around 13.5 crore voters as of today.
Amongst male voters: 56% have just their first names, 15% have Kumar as their second names. So essentially 29% male voters have non Kumar surnames. Similarly, amongst female voters: 65% have just their first names, 19% write Devi as their second name and 3% are Kumari’ in surnames. These figures are at UP state level. None of these surnames amongst males or females says anything of their caste.
This name related tweaking by Election Commission does not impact the voter identification and tracking as each voter has unique EPIC number using which voter is still identified but omission of surnames hides any hint of the caste of the voter. Can such a move by Election Commission shift the political strategy discourse away from caste? Or is it just advantageous to old established parties while newer parties and candidates are in disadvantageous position? These are some of the questions whose answer will unfold as election moves towards final laps.