LokSabha 2019: Many citizens fail to cast their votes

Team Sakal Times
Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Numerous complaints from people who reached a particular polling station only to find that their names missing from the list

PIMPRI: The issue of voters’ names missing from the electoral list -- a disturbingly common complaint -- returned to haunt Lok Sabha elections at Maval constituency, particularly in several areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad. 

Harold D’Costa (46), a cyber expert and resident of Pimpri was in Delhi for some important work and rushed back to Pune to cast his vote. “In my family, there are four voters but this time, the name of my father and my name were missing whereas my wife’s and my mother’s names were there on the list. It was shocking as I am living in Pimpri for 20 years and never changed my address. On one hand, there is so much awareness exercising your right to vote and on the other hand my name is missing and so  my fundamental right has been denied. I am going to speak to the officials concerned and corrective measures should be taken by the authorities.”

Vasant Patil (66) was irked at the election staffers’ mismanagement at SS Ajmera School in Pimpri. He claimed the staff informed him that his name wasn’t there on the list provided to them, whereas Patil stated that for past 30 years he has been voting at this centre. 

“It should have been their responsibility to at least deliver senior citizens’ voter slips at our home. Nevertheless, when a senior citizen approaches the election staff members at the centre, they are supposed to help them and not ask them to return or check somewhere else. This is a wrong attitude,” said Patil. 

While he was about to leave the polling centre, a man helped him by finding his name online. His name was found listed in the same centre. “How did he get my name on the list online? If this had been State Assembly election, the candidate would have visited us many times and established relations. I haven’t seen once any aspiring Member of Parliament from my constituency in this election. Even when I came to vote realising my responsibility, shouldn’t they make the process smoother for senior citizens?” asked Patil. 

Ashok Gavli (75), a resident of Chinchwadgaon, couldn’t find his name on the voters’ list. “Even in Lok Sabha 2014, my name had not appeared on the voters’ list, whereas the names of my wife and daughter were there.” 

Shruti Godbole, an IT professional in Pune who had gone home to Khopoli in Maval constituency for polling, could not find her name on the voters’ list.

“It was very disappointing. I could not cast my vote, while everyone in my family and friends did. A couple of other friends in my village could not vote because their names were missing from the list. At the last moment, there was nothing that could be done,” Godbole said. 

In Nigdi, homemaker Kavita Chordiya was worried since she could not find her name in three polling booths that she visited. 

Kishan Nath came all the way from Mumbai to Akurdi, but could not locate his name in the polling booth. He has missed out on voting this year. 

(With inputs by Neha Basudkar, Pranita Roy, Anvita Srivastava and Prajakta Joshi)

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