Study to assess reasons for non-participation and take feedback to improve facilities at polling stations

A survey among the electorate in Hyderabad district, who did not exercise their franchise in the last elections, would be carried out to assess the reasons for their staying away.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner and District Election Officer (DEO) Somesh Kumar said around 20 teams would cover different constituencies for two days and collate information on factors behind the electorate not participating in voting.

“There could be reasons such as not knowing the polling station, booths not easily accessible, long queues or hot summer conditions and so on. This will help us in organising better for the ensuing election,” he pointed out.

The teams would work out feedback on facilities and issues that voters want to be taken care of at the polling stations. This would go into fine tuning the final arrangements and also converting the voting exercise into a more comfortable one, he remarked.

“Since it is going to be peak summer, we are looking at providing appropriate shade and make provision for safe drinking water. The possibility of having a separate queue for senior citizens is also being considered. I expect the survey will help in getting more such inputs,” Mr. Somesh Kumar said.

Helpdesks

Booth-level officers (BLO) would be provided with outreach assistants to ensure each and every voter was contacted with details of the polling station location well in advance. Helpdesks at every booth with computers to ensure particulars of the voter are accessed and provided immediately were being set up to avoid long waiting periods.

A mobile application was also being developed to help a voter get inputs on the status at the polling booth over phone on the day of voting. “One can message details of the polling station and get a response as to how many other voters are there at that point of time. This gives an idea about the waiting time and a voter can plan accordingly,” he added.

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