Kannur: In a situation with ‘bogus voting’ and ‘open voting’ in news, poll officials are demanding a reduction in the number of voters in each booth as a major improvement which can also help complete the polling early.
Polling officials are now struggling with the bundle of papers with the information of voters in small fonts and photographs of voters. ‘How can we recognize people who are appearing at the booth for a second time, in a different attire who we can see just for some seconds’, poll officials ask.
In some party's strongholds, polling agents of other parties are not able or allowed to respond to the foul play at the polling booths. Challenge vote is possible only when any of the agents complain of the foul play.
It is the same story in most of the polling stations of Kannur. Double checking is also not possible as it is highly time-consuming and the booths remain crowded most of the time.
Mock polling starts at 6 in the morning after which these officials are forced to work the whole day without proper food. Polling officials are also asking to re-arrange the polling hours, including a lunch break of one hour. They highlight that they are now denied the facilities as normal human beings and raise demands like lower number of voters 500 to 600, updating the photos of the voter ID, and setting a time limit for the photos. They also demand choosing buildings with modern amenities as polling stations
Introduction of VVPAT dragged the voting process past 6pm in the evening. In Kannur 625 polling booths witnessed such a situation.
This time some polling officials reached home only early next morning because of the elongated voting.