Electoralsearch.in, a website run by the Election Commission of India (ECI), was inaccessible on the first day of India’s general election, according to tweet by iVote, which is a citizen journalism project tracking voter suppression during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. iVote said the information came from a citizen in Karnataka, whose name it withheld. The tracker is run by Symbiosis Institute for Media and Communications, Pune and Newslaundry. Electoralsearch.in allows people to check whether they are registered to vote.

ECI has a link to the website on the home page at eci.gov.in, and on its National Voters’ Service Portal, where citizens can register to vote. It also points to the website on its Resources for Voters page, where it asks citizens to “visit electoralsearch.in to see your if you are registered to vote. If your name appears in the list, you are eligible to vote, otherwise, you need to register at www.nvsp.in”.

Many Twitter users complained about the website being down…

… and one user, @rpattabi, posted his ‘jugaad’ method of verifying that he was registered to vote. Here’s how he did it.

  • Visited the website of his state election commission.
  • Used his constituency name and polling booth number to download the voter list as a PDF.
  • Spent hours looking for his name among thousands as the PDF wasn’t searchable.
  • Once he found it, he took a printout of the page and headed to the booth with an identity card.

55 lakh voters disenfranchised in AP and Telangana

In February, nearly 55 lakh voters in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were disenfranchised as a result of linking voter IDs and Aadhaar, reported The Wire. It said only 30 lakh voters were deleted during the Aadhaar-Voter ID linkage process under NERPAP. But it did not specify how the remaining 25 lakh votes were disenfranchised. The Election Commission started linking voter IDs to Aadhaar in 2015. The previous month, the ECI declined to provide information about the number of voter IDs linked with Aadhaar. MediaNama had filed an appeal under the Right to Information Act, requesting the information and documents, which the ECI had earlier denied on the grounds that “no information is available in any physical form in record of the Commission.”