Glitches in EVMs disrupt process at some booths, but polling peaceful

Delayed start of voting at a few booths due to technical glitches in Electronic Voting Machines, and a confusion caused due to placement of EVMs and VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) at a booth at Machuvadi in Pudukottai district were the grey areas in an otherwise peaceful conduct of polls in Tiruchi Parliamentary constituency on Thursday.

According to official figures, the constituency recorded a good voter turnout of 71.12 %. Unmindful of the searing heat, voters stood in lengthy queues to cast their votes. After casting his vote at a booth in Khajamalai in the city, District Collector S. Sivarasu exuded hope that a majority of the voters would exercise their franchise in the morning hours in view of the heat conditions.

The voter turnout witnessed a steady rise as the day progressed. By 11 a.m., 22.8% of the 15.08 lakh voters of the constituency had cast their votes, indicating that many preferred to make it to the polling booths early apparently to avoid the scorching sun.

The figure rose to 40.29% at 1 p.m., 57.4 % at 3 p.m. and 62.61 % at 5 p.m. There are 15,08,329 voters - 7,39,241 male, 7,68,940 female, and 148 others - in Tiruchi Parliamentary constituency encompassing Srirangam, Tiruchi (West), Tiruchi (East), Tiruverumbur, Gandarvakottai (SC) and Pudukottai Assembly segments.

Earlier in the day, voting was delayed at booths in Senkulam and Dheeran Nagar due to technical gliches in the EVMs. The process resumed after a gap of one to two hours after the EVMs were restored.

At a booth in Machuvadi in Pudukottai Assembly constituency, AMMK candidate Sarubala Thondaiman expressed annoyance over the placement of the two EVMs.

Demanding a halt to the polling process, Ms. Sarubala raised apprehension that the EVMs were placed at Machuvadi in variance from other booths causing confusion to voters. Officials expressed their inability, sources said, adding that the polling process was disrupted for about an hour in the evening time.

The polling process was disrupted for a while in booths in Srirangam town as power supply went off after a gust of wind accompanied by rain brought down trees in the evening.

There were some problems with seven machines, which were replaced without much loss of time, District Collector and Returning Officer for Tiruchi Parliamentary Constituency S. Sivarasu said. “I have sought a report about the grievance raised by AMMK candidate about placement of VVPAT and EVMs,” the Collector said.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 5:51:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/glitches-in-evms-disrupt-process-at-some-booths-but-polling-peaceful/article26878182.ece

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