State polling: Shocking lapses

Voting in the dark

While polling for the Assembly elections in Karnataka passed off without any major untoward incident, the conduct of the poll left much to be desired. Voters had to face many kinds of difficulties, and some of them could not exercise their franchise. Some voters found that their names were missing from the rolls though they had valid voter ID cards and had voted regularly in the past elections. It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to ensure that the electoral rolls are prepared and maintained without a fault. The commission failed in this in many places. Many voters might not have been able to question the absence of their names or might have found it too late to get corrective action taken. The result was denial of voting rights to many people. There were also instances of people who belonged to the same family being assigned different polling booths in different locations. This had no rational explanation and inconvenienced many people. It is shocking that despite computerisation of electoral rolls, these lapses continue to occur. There were complaints of glitches in EVM machines and of VVPAT facility in many polling booths in Bengaluru and outside. Repolling had to be ordered for one polling booth in Bengaluru because of the faulty EVM.

Many complained of lack of adequate arrangements in several places. Disruption of power created problems in some booths. Location of booths lacked proper planning and there were cases of a single booth catering to a large number of people, forcing voters to wait in the queue for long periods. Elderly or sick people would have found this difficult. Every booth should have been easily accessible to differently-abled persons. But those who could not climb stairs had to seek the help of others, and facilities like wheelchairs were not available. It is the Election Commission’s responsibility to provide the best conditions and facilities for voting but it could not, in many places. That the EC failed in these is simply not acceptable.

All the parties and candidates in the fray have high stakes in the elections and so the campaign was long and high-pitched. The state recorded a voter turnout of 72.13% which is a record. While this is an improvement, it is below par in a state like Karnataka. The turnout in Bengaluru was a dismal 50%. In some parts of the city, it was less than 50%. The less educated and poorer people from the villages proved that they are more aware of their basic democratic duty than city residents. The apathy shown by the voters of Bengaluru is shameful for a city which claims to represent the best of India. 

Liked the story?

  • 1

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 1

    Frustrated
  • 1

    Angry

Comments:

State polling: Shocking lapses

0 comments

Write the first review for this !