February 22, 2017 2:09:44 am
THE FOUR-candidate panel system posed a big challenge to the voters with several unable to figure out how to vote. In some areas of Pimpri-Chinchwad, the presiding officers were seen entering the polling stations itself to help perplexed voters to make their choice. Laxman Chaugule (78) had a tough time exercising his franchise. A resident of Balajinagar slums, Chaugule had gone to the Quality Circle building where his polling booth was located. However, he could not figure out the four candidate panel and stood perplexed for almost 5 minutes behind the screened section of the booth till the presiding officer went to him.While legally, the presiding officer is not allowed to enter the cordoned area where EVMs are kept, with the queue not moving, the presiding officer had to intervene.
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Chaugule, who claimed to have voted for more than 22 times, said he did not know what to do. “I got confused and could not see properly so had to call presiding officer to help me out,” he said.
In Wakad, 40-year-old Asha Mate stood confused as she could not make out how to press the right buttons. “I wanted to vote for four candidates, but could not do so as the fourth light failed to flicker in the second machine,” she said.
Poll officials had to move out of their seats to guide her. Similar scenes were witnessed in Chinchwad, Kiwale, Nigdi, Kasarwadi and Pimpri. Some voters kept pressing the EVMs which then malfunctioned, poll officials said. Poll officials said at many places there were four EVMs but at some places there were two or three EVMs.
In many areas of Bhosari gaonthan, senior citizens had a tough time figuring out how to vote. Polling officers who were attached to the polling centres said some of the senior citizens were pushing the same button four times as they had not understood the concept at all. “The four parts of the panels were designated in different colours, yet people were confused,” they said.
At many polling booths in Panel 5 of Bhosari, polling agents and presiding officers were seen coming out of their stations to explain the voting process. However, in some cases when the voting queue was stopped, the officers were seen entering the polling stations itself or calling the police to help them out.
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