Many could not vote due to defective list

Staff Correspondent

Their names were missing from electoral rolls

Belgaum: A large number of voters in Belgaum and Chikkodi Lok Sabha constituencies in the district, which went to the polls on Thursday, lost their once-in-a-five-year opportunity to cast their votes in parliamentary elections because of defective voter list.

Despite carrying Elector’s Photo Identity Cards (EPICs), a large number of voters in the two constituencies were forced to return home as their names were missing from the electoral rolls.

The changes in the polling stations only added to the confusion that prevailed in almost every polling station in the two constituencies.

Perhaps, this is one of the major reasons behind the less than expected voter response in the two constituencies, particularly in Belgaum.

The polling agents of different political parties assisting the voters outside the polling stations were apparently annoyed over the manner in which the electoral rolls were prepared.

One of the major mistakes which the polling agents pointed out was the deletion of certain voters who are alive and continued to reside in the same place.

At polling station number 164 in Belgaum city, names against serial numbers 121, 137, 138, 141, 185, 232, 232, 271, 295, 308 and a few others were missing.

A polling agent, Asif A., said only a few of them were not alive and he was forced to send others back home as their names were missing.

Citing another example, he showed the electoral roll in respect of polling station number 163 where the serial number 3,900 was missing.

Voters in several polling stations said though they had voter cards, their names were missing in the voters list.

Sunil K., a voter in Hanuman Nagar, said many voters were not aware of the changes in polling stations hence the confusion.

The voters went to the same polling stations where they had cast their vote in the Assembly elections held last year when they had to cast their votes elsewhere.

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