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India General Elections 2024: EC mess tempers Mumbai’s spirit

Updated on: 21 May,2024 06:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Team mid-day |

Even as city turns out in better-than usual numbers, several goof-ups mean many did not vote

India General Elections 2024: EC mess tempers Mumbai’s spirit

Voters had to wait for several hours in queues to cast their vote at places like Pratiksha Nagar. Pic/Kirti Surve Parade

Key Highlights

  1. Citizens in Mumbai faced major inconveniences due to long queues
  2. Glitches with EVM machines led to crowding
  3. The voting process was disrupted by several issues with the VVPAT and EVMs

Citizens in Mumbai faced major inconveniences due to long queues, with many waiting for hours to vote without shelter, shade, or water. Glitches with EVM machines led to crowding and chaos at many polling booths. The voting process was disrupted by several issues with the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), causing significant delays and frustration among voters. 


A faulty VVPAT was found in Mulund during the early hours of the election process. The Election Commission replaced it, and a clarification statement from the Mumbai suburban district collector's office regarding the issue stated, "Clarification of the Election System: the voting process is going on smoothly. Initially, there was some malfunction in the VVPAT machine. After it was immediately rectified, the voting process started smoothly again."

Local residents gathered in large numbers at St John’s Convent High School polling booth in Mumbra. Pic/Satej ShindeLocal residents gathered in large numbers at St John’s Convent High School polling booth in Mumbra. Pic/Satej Shinde


Yet another faulty VVPAT machine was found in Mankhurd in the early hours, causing a huge line and stranded voters at the booth. The Election Commission promptly replaced the machine. An official statement stated, "The VVPAT machine has been replaced. Voting process is smooth again."


An EVM machine in Powai malfunctioned, causing long waits and frustration among voters. Actor Aadesh Bandekar shared a video of the chaos on Instagram. Senior citizens were especially upset after waiting four hours only to be told the EVM wasn't working. The election commission quickly replaced the machine. The suburban election office confirmed, "The EVM machine has been replaced, and voting has resumed smoothly." Returning Officer Sonali Mule added that extra officers were sent to manage the crowd, ensuring everyone present by 6 pm would be allowed to vote.

Local residents gathered in large numbers at St John`s Convent High School polling booth in MumbraLocal residents gathered in large numbers at St John's Convent High School polling booth in Mumbra


In Bhandup, voting at Khindipada Omega High School was disrupted by a power cut, causing a 30-minute delay. The suburban district election office stated, "Power supply has been restored, and voting has resumed."


A faulty VVPAT machine at Don Bosco High School in Borivli caused a nearly 2-hour wait. Voters argued with officials and police, complaining about the lack of information and water. One voter said, "You make us wait for hours and then say turnout is low."

CISF officials trying to control the crowd in MumbraCISF officials trying to control the crowd in Mumbra

Chaos at Borivli's Kora Kendra polling station led to over three-hour waits. Many voters left without voting, frustrated by the slow process. Polling booth 195 was particularly affected, with each person taking two to three hours to vote. Officials declined to comment.

Vedant Jadhav, 22, a first-time voter from Chikoo Wadi in Borivli, described his voting experience as discouraging. "The experience was so bad, it might discourage any first-time voter from returning next time," he said. He arrived at 9.30 am and didn't leave until 2.00 pm. The water dispenser ran out, causing further inconvenience.

Crowd standing in long queue to vote at Don Bosco School in Borivli  Pics/Satej ShindeCrowd standing in long queue to vote at Don Bosco School in Borivli  Pics/Satej Shinde

Another voter, Talakchand Dedhia, complained about the lack of information and facilities, saying, "There was no proper facility for the voters. At least they should inform us about the delay."

JVPD Scheme

Voting at Jamnabai Narsee School had mixed experiences, according to Hariram Gupta, 90, and his wife Chanchal, 81. They noted issues with wheelchair accessibility, signage, and parking, causing confusion, especially for seniors. However, they praised the swift, well-organised process inside, with ample seating and helpful staff. Despite the challenges, Hariram chose to walk to the booth and vote enthusiastically.

Overcrowding, no beep!

Govandi, including Shivaji Nagar, is one of Mumbai's poorest areas, home to many Dalits, Muslims, and OBCs. Shamshuddin Mehmood Khan, a 52-year-old rickshaw driver, was disappointed by the long lines at the polling booth. "Officers are working slowly on purpose. Most people here have daily wages. They don't want us to vote," he claimed.

Khan expressed his mistrust in the election process, saying, "There have been many instances where the election commission failed. They released voter turnout data late. Citizens are watching everything."

At Jafri English School, police admitted the long wait times but blamed narrow lanes. "Small schools seem overcrowded, and we have to ensure people don't bring bags or phones inside," said a police officer.

Javed Khan, 48, voted at 10.30 am and noticed an issue with the voting machine. "There was no beep after I pressed the button, but my choice appeared on the VVPAT," he said.

Another elderly voter was asked to make a new voting card because his old one wasn't found online. "We are not sending anyone away; we asked him to wait while we manually search the voter list," said an official.

Sion Pratiksha Nagar

At the Sion Pratiksha Nagar polling station, voters endured long queues and delays. First-time voter Mridula Sanjay Ranjit fainted from the heat before casting her vote at the Eklavya Education Sadhana Sanchalit Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil English School. 

"I was excited to vote for the first time but fainted after waiting for over two hours," she said. Mridula suggested authorities make the voting process smoother. On Monday afternoon, mid-day observed continued inconvenience and long queues, with voters complaining about slow voting processes.


In this constituency, voters stood in queues all morning to cast their votes. Some places faced issues like missing names and slow voting, causing long lines. At a polling station in Khar West, chaos erupted as many voters found their names missing. One frustrated voter said, "More than 60 people couldn't vote because their names weren't on the list. This is unacceptable. Officials did nothing."

Sajid Ahmed Badguzar, a resident of Santacruz Kheera Nagar, said, "I was shocked to find my name missing when I went to vote. When I asked why, officials had no answer. Many faced this issue. If this continues, who will want to vote?"

Actress Vidya Malavade faced voting issues in the Bandra constituency. In a social media video, she expressed frustration, saying, “Waited for 3 hours with my elderly parents. My name wasn’t on the list, despite filling forms. Even with my Aadhar Card, I couldn’t vote. No update on my voter ID from the election commission.”

June 4
Day of results

No.  of LS seats in Mumbai

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