February 22, 2017 1:02:52 am
To add to the confusion about changed voting booths and missing voters’ names, voters and government staff alike faced a baffling situation at Booth no. 83 in Panel 9 of the Pune Municipal Corporation. The address of the booth was changed twice due to various reasons and the final address of the booth — displayed on the Internet and signboards — got the building name right but the locality wrong.
Earlier, most voters assigned to the 83rd booth of Panel 9 had voted at the polling booth located at Abhinav College on Pashan Sus Road. But as these voters searched for their names on the Internet or with the help of volunteers from various political parties who used the PMC’s voter search portal, they found that the new address assigned to the booth was ‘Vrindavan Sanskrutik Bhavan, Sus Road.’ This created confusion among voters and government staff as there is no place called ‘Vrindavan Sanskrutik Bhavan’ on Sus Road.
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Gorakh Kalkhaire, a resident of Pashan, said, “There was no logic behind changing the location the first time… and after changing it, giving a wrong address created further confusion. As if the booth went almost missing for a while.” By the end of election day, 409 of the 800 voters registered at the booth had cast their votes, said an official.
A polling agent from a political party, assigned to the booth, said, “Throughout the day, we came across several people, many of them elderly, who had trouble finding the place. Sus Road and Panchavati are at least three kilometres from each other. After changing the address twice, they got the location wrong.”
An official from the polling booth, who did not wish to be named, said, “We agree that there was some last-minute confusion, but it was because of space constraints at the two earlier booths. We also agree that the building name was right and the location wrong, leading to confusion. Steps will be taken to rectify it.”
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