In order to enhance participation by the recognized political parties at grass root level during preparation and revision of electoral roll, the Election Commission introduced a system of appointment of Booth Level Agent in November, 2008 on the pattern of polling agent /counting agent during polling /counting of votes. The Booth Level Agents are appointed for specific polling station areas by the recognized political parties to complement the Booth Level Officers of the respective polling stations.
Appointment of Booth Level Agent:
Every recognized political party through its President or Secretary or any other office bearer shall authorize one or more district representatives to appoint Booth Level Agents. The authorization shall be given in Form ID: BLA 1 (annexure 60 - Manual on Electoral Rolls - Document 10 - Edition 1 - October 2016) by the President/ Secretary/Authorized office bearer. The Form must be signed in ink only.
The authorized district representative of the political party will further appoint Booth Level Agent for each polling station in
Form ID: BLA 2 (annexure 61 - Manual on Electoral Rolls - Document 10 - Edition 1 - October 2016).
The Form must be signed, in ink only. The Booth Level Agent must be a registered elector in the relevant part of the electoral roll for which he is appointed as it is expected that the Booth Level Agent will scrutinize the entries in the draft roll during revision period and also identify entries of dead and shifted electors.
Initially, Booth Level Agents were appointed for revision of electoral roll during a particular year only, however, subsequently, the Election Commission decided that a Booth Level Agent, once appointed, will continue to function in such capacity irrespective of whether it is revision or non-revision period and his appointment as Booth Level Agent will be valid for later years also until and unless the nomination/authorization of such Booth Level Agent is expressly withdrawn by the concerned political party or such Booth Level Agent has ceased to be a registered elector of the constituency for which he has been appointed.
No Government employee or staff of local authority/PSU can act as Booth Level Agent.
One Booth Level Agent may be appointed for more than one polling station area provided the polling stations for the corresponding parts of electoral roll are located within the same polling station location. In case, due to unavoidable reasons, one Booth Level Agent is authorized to receive draft electoral roll in respect of more than one part of electoral roll, then separate authorizations in Form ID: BLA 2 should be obtained for each such part of electoral roll.
The Booth Level Agent will hand over his appointment letter in prescribed Form to Designated Officer/Booth Level Officer at the polling station location after draft publication of electoral roll. In case the concerned political party so wishes it may also issue photo Identity Cards to its Booth Level Agent with signature of the authorized representative. However, the Booth Level Agent is not required to show the ID proof other than the above authorization letter.
On production of the appointment letter by Booth Level Agent, the Designated Officer/Booth Level Officer will hand over a printed copy of the relevant part(s) of the electoral roll to him under proper acknowledgement (annexure 62 - Manual on Electoral Rolls - Document 10 - Edition 1 - October 2016). The printed copy of each part of electoral roll to be supplied to the Booth Level Agent will be the same copy of electoral roll which is required to be supplied free of cost to the concerned recognized political party under Rule 11 of Registration of Electoral Rules, 1960, as mentioned above.
In case no Booth Level Agent is appointed by a political party for a part of electoral roll, then the copy of the draft roll for that part will not be handed over to any other person by the Designated Officer/Booth Level Officer. The political party representative will hand over to the Electoral Registration Officer, lists of those parts of electoral roll for which Booth Level Agents have been appointed and also the parts for which no Booth Level Agent has been appointed.
The appointment of a Booth Level Agent shall not be revoked during the revision process except in very unavoidable circumstances like death cases. In case a new Booth Level Agent is appointed by the authorized representative then the copy of the draft roll already supplied to the previous Booth Level Agent shall be used for reference purpose. The Designated Officer/ Booth Level Officer is not required to supply another copy of the relevant part of draft roll, if already supplied.
Responsibilities of Booth Level Agent:
The Booth Level Agents will be required to be present at designated locations for receipt of claims and objections, under the aegis of Designated Officers/Booth Level Officers, on the special campaign days during revision period. On these days, the Booth Level Officer will go through the draft roll with the Booth Level Agents and identify the corrections etc. The Booth Level Agents can list out the dead and shifted voters through house to house survey or by any other means and present the list to the Designated Officers / Booth Level Officers in the prescribed format (annexure 63and 64 - Manual on Electoral Rolls - Document 10 - Edition 1 - October 2016). They should give an undertaking that the information furnished by them is on the basis of verification conducted by them and they are liable for action under Section 31 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950 for making false declaration, if any. The Booth Level Agents will not receive claims and objections from public. They will only guide the public to file appropriate applications for inclusion, deletion, correction and transposition of entries in the electoral roll. A Booth Level Agent shall not submit more than 10 forms to Booth Level Officer in a day.
The Booth Level Agents will motivate the electors within the jurisdiction of the part of the electoral roll to come forward to inspect the draft roll during the period when it is displayed and file applications for correction, deletion and transposition of entries. Similarly, they may guide newly eligible electors of 18 years of age and above and those persons who might have shifted in from other places to file applications for inclusion of their names.
Submission of Bulk Applications by Booth Level Agent:
The Election Commission has allowed a Booth Level Agent to file not exceeding 10 applications in a day. The Booth Level Agent shall submit forms to concerned Booth Level Officer along with a list of application forms and a written declaration that he has personally verified the particulars contained in the enclosed application forms and is satisfied that the same are correct. In case a Booth Level Agent submits more than 30 application forms during entire period of summary revision, cross verification must be done personally by the concerned Electoral Registration Officer/ Assistant Electoral Registration Officer. The political parties which have not appointed Booth Level Agents cannot file applications in bulk during revision period.