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Voters rights go for a toss
On the election day, scores of people who thronged the polling booths to cast their votes were left disappointed as they found that their names had gone missing from the voters’ list. Particularly the octogenarians, the handicapped and many a committed citizens who had come to exercise their franchise were at a total loss as they could not cast their votes in the civic body polls.
Several eligible voters were in for a shock as they could not find their names in the voters list and had to return without exercising their franchise
Hyderabad: On the election day, scores of people who thronged the polling booths to cast their votes were left disappointed as they found that their names had gone missing from the voters’ list. Particularly the octogenarians, the handicapped and many a committed citizens who had come to exercise their franchise were at a total loss as they could not cast their votes in the civic body polls.
From Pet Basheerabad to Pragathi Nagar, Alwal to Ashok Nagar, the complaint was the same. Chaos prevailed at polling stations as people moved helter-skelter searching for their names on the list. K Vijay Bhaskar, a presiding officer at polling station 31, Neredmet, admitted that many eligible voters had returned as they could not find their names on the list.
Administrative lapses were a common feature in almost all the divisions. Missing votes of eligible citizens, non-distribution of voter slips and the change of addresses of polling booths left citizens confused. Jagmohini, a resident of Raghavendra Nagar Colony, went to vote at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sainikpuri, only to return without casting her vote. “It is baffling. We have been living here for over 25 years. How could our names be deleted from the voters list,” she fumed.
Bemused and disappointed, many wondered how their names had gone missing this time though they had voted in the last general elections. In some cases, only the husband received a voter slip while the names of the wife and children were missing. For instance, while Dayanand, a resident of S P Nagar in Moula Ali, could cast his vote, his wife M Shanta Bai, daughter Bhanu Priya and son M Santosh were left out.
Several software professionals who arrived to the city from other cities such as Pune, Bengaluru and Chennai to cast their vote were also left stranded at booths. A few, however, have managed to find their names on the voters list.
They have downloaded the GHMC app and found their names that were listed in some other booths. R Raghavan, a software professional working in Pune who drove down to the city says, “I could download the app and found my name in a different booth which is a few kilometers away. But there are old and illiterate people who would just go back without voting. If the administrative lapses could be plugged, the voting process would have become very easy.”
Some officials at the polling booths observed that people might not have informed the change of their addresses to the election authorities and that also might have contributed to the confusion.