A viral WhatsApp forward falsely claims a voter can cast their vote even if their name is not on the electoral roll by asking for a 'challenge vote'. The assembly election in Karnataka is being held on May 10, 2023, in a single phase followed by the counting of votes on May 13.
BOOM found that the claim that a voter can cast their vote even if their name is not on the electoral roll by asking for a 'challenge vote', is false. We debunked a similar claim ahead of the general election in 2019. We read through the handbook issued by the ECI for polling agents in February 2019 that states the polling officer would primarily identify the voter through the electoral roll and a voter cannot vote unless his / her name appears on the electoral rolls. The second claim about asking for a 'tender vote' in the event someone has already cast your vote, is true. We did not find any mention of the third claim regarding "repolling in the case of more than 14% tender vote" in the EC handbook. BOOM had reached out to the Election Commission of India (ECI) in April 2019 who had confirmed that the viral message is false. "Tendered vote is only when you find that someone has voted against your name in the voter list. A person whose name is not on the voter list cannot vote," Sheyphali Sharan, ECI Spokesperson had told BOOM.
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