MCD Polls: Disgruntled Voters Return Without Casting Votes Alleging Gross Mismanagement At Polling Stations

Several frustrated voters said that they have been roaming from pillar to post to vote, only to be refused and guided to another room by election officials. After hours of not being able to locate the right polling booths, some returned home without casting their votes.

Voting underway for MCD polls

Voters in Delhi's West Patel Nagar voiced frustrations at not being able to find the right polling booths for hours, and said they ultimately returned home without casting their votes. Several voters in their comments to NDTV expressed anger over the gross mismanagement the conduct of polls for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), which is currently underway. 

Voting for MCD polls began at 8am and will conclude at 5pm on Sunday. Meanwhile, at polling booths, disgruntled citizens said they have been roaming from pillar to post to cast their votes, only to be refused and guided to another room by election officials.

Citizens unable to find their polling booths

"I have been roaming with my child for over an hour, but still not getting a booth to vote. I am being directed to different booths. My wife cast her vote, but I couldn't. No one knows where to vote," Kalu Ram, a voter, told NDTV.

"We have been roaming for two hours. We are being sent to different rooms only to be told we can't cast our votes there," says a woman. "How will we vote if we can't find where to cast our votes?"

Another distraught woman said that 20 members from her family had come to vote in the morning but after hours of being unable to locate the right booth, they all returned home without casting their votes. 

Gross mismanagement at polling stations

"There is no system here. Earlier there used to be a way in which elections were conducted. People are getting late for office; students are getting late for tuition. This is not the way how it should be done," a young voter was quoted as saying by NDTV.

"We have been directed to go to seven-eight booths in different polling stations in two hours. I desperately wanted to cast my vote but I am not able to. This is not acceptable. I am going home without voting," adds the first-time voter as she breaks into tears and leaves the polling station.  

Likewise, two elderly voters said they too had been trying to locate their booth. "We're old and can't keep walking from one place to another. We will have to return without casting our votes," adds one of them. 

Election officials acknowledged the mismanagement and told NDTV that such issues are occurring due to voting lists not being updated timely. The correct addresses of some voters are not updated, some have not linked their Aadhaar cards, and other such issues are there, they said. 

MCD Polls

The MCD polls for 250 wards are currently underway in the national capital. Over 1.45 crore voters in Delhi are eligible to vote in the polls for which more than 13,000 polling booths have been set up across the city. Votes will be counted on December 7.

This is the first civic election after the fresh delimitation exercise, and the poll is being held days after the first phase of the Gujarat assembly elections, and a day ahead of its second phase.

Delhi is all prepped up to elect the new officials with government schools remaining shut on Saturday and Delhi Metro train services on all lines starting from 4 AM from all terminal stations on Sunday ahead of the voting at 8 am.  All wholesale and retail markets in the national capital have also announced closure on Sunday.