While the black dot looked good on voters' fingers yesterday, sadly, the election experience wasn't free of stains
There were gaffes at several polling stations, many of which were preventable if we had only learnt from our past record. Like we have pointed out repeatedly, there have to be facilities for the disabled at polling stations across the city. Even if the voting centers don't have ramps and other facilities, makeshift arrangements can be made even a day before voting day.
If that is not possible, the authorities should, at least, deploy enough attendants — both men and women — to help voters negotiate and access the polling booths. Yesterday, there was not much rush at most booths, so this was entirely doable. Such preparations must be in advance and the election commission should carry out inspections to ensure preparedness, by visiting different centres two days prior to check if basics are in order.
When the public sees chaos and confusion at the voting stage itself, they might lose faith in the entire process. It is also likely that the word will spread and potential voters might do a U-turn and return home, considering it a waste of time to vote.
Having said that, it is also important that people show more tenacity when it comes to voting. The young and able must try and get that dot on the finger. All those 'you must vote' initiatives were strong, and although some methods may have come in for criticism, the intention was always to make people go out and vote.
We see a two-way process here, an effort to get rid of snafus at the polling stage, and an extra effort by people to rid citizens of cynicism and push them to vote. Some figures give us reason to smile, others are not so heartening. Let us try even harder the next time.
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