Without slips, voters made to run around

Corporation staff did not distribute them properly, says activist

Many residents faced difficulties as they were not given booth slips which contain the location of the polling station and the serial number.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) had introduced the facility to eliminate inconvenience to members of the public, who had to depend on political parties for the purpose.

With the summer on, many residents turned up in large numbers early on Tuesday at the polling stations where they had cast their votes in previous elections.

They found it very difficult to find the booth and had to depend on a few staff outside the polling stations.

The ECI had asked voters to download the booth slip online. R. Subash, a resident of Anna Nagar, said: “I was not aware that I could download the booth slip. Normally, the election staff distribute booth slips at our homes. Many of us did not receive them this time. There was a lot of confusion at our polling station.”

G.S. Ramsubramanian, a social activist in Anna Nagar, too, faced the same problem.

“I am a senior citizen and I was not able to locate my booth easily since the slip was not given to us. We had to wait under the sun for more than one hour,” he said and added that a polling staff had asked them to go to another booth as their names were not in the list.

“We were made to go from one place to another. Moreover, mobile phones were prohibited. Then how can we download booth slip online?” he asked.

Complaints galore

Hundreds of such complaints were received from residents at Anna Nagar, K.K. Nagar, Virugambakkam, Velachery, Taramani, Tondiarpet and other places.

“At many places, voters had to depend on the political functionaries who hang around polling stations. The Corporation staff did not distribute the booth slips properly. So these voters, who were clueless, had to approach them to identify the booth or the serial number. Police officers also came to our area and asked the agents of the political parties to disperse from the spot,” said V. Gopalakrishnan, an RTI activist.

K. Elangovan, an advocate, said, “Many voters are not computer literate or knowledgeable enough to handle smart phones to download the booth slip on their own. Not enough awareness campaigns were conducted ahead of the poll for easy identification of polling booth.”

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