Vote the heck! Malfunctioning machine delays voting in Wadala

Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 08:37 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Wadala booth machine malfunctions and voters twiddle their thumbs and to be inked-fingers for more than half an hour

Nikhil Desai
Nikhil Desai

A malfunctioning machine delayed people from casting their votes at a Wadala constituency on Monday evening. The machine saw people queue up at booth No 13 at Amulakh Amichand School on Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Road in 180 Wadala Assembly constituency, "on a day when we could hardly see any queues at other polling booths," said a local, Nikhil Desai.

Desai, who is well-known in the area because of his activism, and taking up local issues with representatives said, "I went to booth no 13, my polling booth late in the afternoon. I saw people scattered about, there was significant police bandobast. People were not being allowed to go inside. I learnt that the EVM was malfunctioning and some talk was on about repairs.

People had been waiting for more than 20 minutes, and a queue had formed of at least 50 persons. I told the officers to let us vote in booth no 14 and 15, (the school was divided into three booths for convenience) as there was no line there, but was told it was not allowed. Then, some people came and worked on the machine. There was a debate on how to 'verify' if it was working. But it malfunctioned again."

Desai said that there should have been a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in case of malfunction, but it was not in place. Many irate voters said the booth should extend the voting time by half an hour. Some voters went home. Even Desai went home. He said, that after more than half an hour or so, he got a message on his phone saying the machine had re-started. Apparently, the machine re-started after some more persons were dispatched to fix it. Finally he cast his vote. He stated, "I do not know how many people waited there or came back to vote. When we criticise low turnout and there is general cynicism by the people, leaders must also introspect about why the public reacts like this, and why there is no procedure in place in case of such eventualities."

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  • 1/17

    Maharashtra Assembly Elections took place today and citizens made sure that they exercise their right to vote. Senior citizens, differently-abled people also came ahead to voter booths and cast their vote for the parties of their choice.

  • 2/17

    Even the policemen came forward to help the senior citizens in casting their vote.

  • 3/17

    School and college students helped the authorities by volunteering while the voting was going on. They guided the voters to their respective polling booths. Pic/Chetna Sadadekar

  • 4/17

    80-year old Dombivli resident voted during the Assembly Elections in Mumbai. Pic/Anamika Gharat

  • 5/17

    However, as the elections began at 7 am, it was seen that the number of voters was less compared to the ones who turned up during the Lok Sabha elections in the first three hours. 

  • 6/17

    It was not just politicians, candidates, Bollywood celebrities who exercised their franchise but even the common man made it a point to visit the centres to cast their votes.

  • 7/17

    Narmada Joshi, 74, Tushar Joshi, 51, were the first ones to vote at MCC College, Mulund. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 8/17

    Proper ramps were arranged for the elderly at various polling booths in order to help them in casting their vote with ease. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 9/17

    Many citizens helped the differently abled in exercising their franchise. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 10/17

    In Maharashtra, till 10 am, it was the Jalna district which saw the highest percentage of voting with 9.65 per cent. Pic/Anurag Kamble

  • 11/17

    86-year old Anand Mehta cast his vote at St.Anne's high school in Bandra. Pic/ Sneha Kharabe

  • 12/17

    A 102-year old man came to vote with his 60 family members.

  • 13/17

    The voter turnout in Maharashtra till 6 pm was 55.39 per cent while in Haryana it was 61.72 per cent.

  • 14/17

    Out of 288 Assembly constituencies in the state, Radhanagari witnessed the highest voter turnout of 70.89 per cent while Ulhasnagar witnessed the lowest at 26.27 per cent till 5 pm.

  • 15/17

    There are 96,661 polling booths in Maharashtra for citizens to cast their votes. 

  • 16/17

    In pic: Differently abled senior citizen exercises right to vote.

  • 17/17

    The counting of votes in both Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly polls will take place on October 24.

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