Madurai

When currency notes, booth slips came out of ballot boxes

Officials counting ballot papers for Virudhunagar panchayat union were surprised when two currency notes in the denomination of ₹ 50 were found pinned to two different ballot papers inside a ballot box on Thursday. The currency notes had a small note, written in small pieces of white paper – that read: (Please) help reach this to its owner. The man from Koorakundu identified himself with a name.

When a sorting official showed the unexpected material found in the ballot box, the official in-charge instructed him to report it to the Returning Officer.

Counting agents, who witnessed the incident, laughed. While one of them said that the voter could have been angered probably for bribing him. A counting staff said it could be possible that the voter was irked as he was not given the money by some candidate.

One of the agents wondered as to how the voter could take out currency notes and personal notes from his pockets and pin them in two ballot papers and managed to put them in the ballot box without getting noticed by any of the seven/eight polling officials at the booths.

A sorting officer, who was a polling official, said that many voters took their own time to cast their votes in each of the four ballot papers. “Since they do everything behind an enclosure, these kind of activities could not be noticed by officials,” she said.

A senior official said it could be a tactics by the candidate or his agents to check foul play in swapping of ballot boxes. “They satisfy themselves by putting these weird or unexpected things inside the ballot box and check whether these things are displayed by officials. During last local body polls, we found rings inside boxes,” one of them said.

Officials at the sorting rooms said they found a few booth or voter slips inside ballot boxes.

“Probably, the voters got confused between the voter slip and the ballot papers meant for village panchayt member. Because both voter slip and ballot paper (for panchayat ward member) are white,” one of them said.

One of the voters torn the ballot paper and dropped a piece of the paper containing only one symbol. “Probably, it was his style of casting vote,” the official added.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 8:14:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/when-currency-notes-booth-slips-came-out-of-ballot-boxes/article30463579.ece

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