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... And they never got to vote

Marri Ramu
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Names were either missing or some didn’t get vote slips

Chaotic:Voters whose names were missing in the lists crowding a polling station in Hyderabad on Wednesday.— PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR
Chaotic:Voters whose names were missing in the lists crowding a polling station in Hyderabad on Wednesday.— PHOTO: P.V. SIVAKUMAR

Multiple factors resulted in the not-so-impressive turnout in Hyderabad, but surely many voters failed to cast vote because they were not issued poll slips.

Added to this were complaints of names missing from the voters’ list, difficulty in locating polling stations and lack of quick response from officials on varied options available in such situations even as many voters stepped out of their houses around 7 a.m. carrying the voter ID cards. While many didn’t receive the voter slips from local municipal authorities, some were unaware that it was needed along with the Elector’s Photo Identity Card (EPIC).

For years, voters got accustomed to the system of receiving poll slips — a piece of paper slip with details of voter name, polling station, house number hand written on it — from supporters of contestants a few days before polling.

This time, the Election Commission (EC) decided not to allow contestants distribute poll slips. Interestingly, supporters of the contestants came to the rescue of voters by issuing them the voter slips cross-checking the voter lists.

“I voted last time in Geetha School polling booth. Now they say my name was not found in the list,” says Sunkari Srinivas of Srinivasanagar Colony in Alwal. He has electricity bill and voter ID card in support of his charge.

In Jawaharnagar of Malkajgiri, officials said Anganwadi teachers were available on the premises of the polling stations and were issuing poll slips to voters coming there. Unaware of this, many voters were seen returning home without casting vote.

N. Anand Kumar of Himayathnagar charged that four of his family members, who had been voting in the same polling booth for past three decades, didn’t find their names in the list. “Surely this is a deliberate act by some who wanted to prevent the educated lot from voting,” he alleged.


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