Cold calls or surveys from companies you've never shared your contact details with aren't plain annoying, they're unnerving. If the calls happen to be automated ones asking for voting preferences, then all the more so.

scam calls

A twitter user Rohini Mohan shared a similar experience of having allegedly entertained an automated call, along with serious doubts about the motive of those making it. "I got a call now with a recorded message from News 7 asking who will I vote for: BJP, Congress, JDS or AAP. If I did give my choice, my voting preference will be against my mobile number, that's in turn connected to my address etc." She adds, "The numbers that made the call are +917712454003, +9117712452503. To me, this is not the same as doing street surveys, coz I did not consent to be called on phone, my digital data will be automatically connected to many other details like age, gender, religion, income."

The fear of phishing, being virtually impersonated or having personal details compromised looms large in the minds of many. Add to it, the fear of voting preferences being made public. 

delhi voting
Representative imageReuters

Not the first time

Ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections, suave anonymous callers smoothly making the conversation flow towards finding out caste, voting preference were reported from Goa too. Back in 2017 too, a day after polling, people from a few cities in Punjab reportedly received anonymous calls to find out as to whom did they vote for. The pre-recorded messages in a woman's voice said, "A survey is being conducted by the government and the information shared by the residents will be kept secret."



It's secret ballot, for a reason

The secrecy of voting is of utmost importance in sustaining any democracy. The Supreme Court too in multiple rulings, time and again, has repeatedly stressed the need and significance of secrecy in voting. Section 94 of the Representation of People Act, 1951 states that secrecy of voting is not to be infringed and no person shall be required to state for whom he has voted at an election.