Tamil Nadu

Officials allow some persons to cast ‘tendered’ votes in T.N.

It was a repeat of a scene in actor Vijay’s recent movie Sarkar in some parts of Chennai and its fringes on Thursday as voters were shocked to discover their votes had already been cast. But they were not left disappointed and had a chance to cast a ‘tendered’ vote.

M. Princy, a first-time voter from C. Kalyanapuram, Vyasarpadi, was puzzled when she was told someone had voted against her name. “My first voting experience turned bitter. I was told that the other person was allowed to vote as the voter ID had my details against a male photo. I did not have a booth slip. But my name was there in one of the lists. So, I cast my vote through a ballot paper as a tendered vote and was told it would be similar to postal vote,” she said.

Ballot paper

According to the Conduct of Elections Rules, 1961, a voter is allowed to cast a ‘tendered vote’ where someone else representing to be a particular voter has already cast that vote.

The presiding officer may allow the actual voter to vote, if the person is able to prove his or her identity. They would be provided a ballot paper to mark symbol and it would be placed in a cover specially kept for the purpose.

A few others in Chennai and its suburbs also got a similar chance to vote. Uthara Nagarajan, a resident of Pammal, was disappointed. “When I went to vote around 10 a.m., I was aghast to know that someone had signed on my behalf and went on to vote. I came back home. But I learnt about the tendered vote and returned to the booth at 2.30 p.m. and cast my vote,” she said.

Another tendered vote was cast in Hindu Matriculation School in Poonamallee constituency.

Officials said Tamil Arasi could not cast her vote because of a similar issue. “We made her wait for sometime and after confirming with senior officials, she was allowed to cast the tender vote,” said an official.

The presiding officer said the staff in the booths were not trained enough and did not ensure that voters signed against their names.

(With inputs from Sunitha Sekar and Vivek Narayanan)

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 10:14:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/officials-allow-some-persons-to-cast-tendered-votes-in-tn/article26884810.ece

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