Polling continued till midnight in many booths in Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram: The polling process in the 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in Kerala continued past midnight on Tuesday. Voters including women could vote only after hours of long wait. The unexpected delay is attributed to faulty voting machines.
Only a few polling booths could complete the process within the stipulated time of 6 pm. Heavy rush in polling booths were also witnessed even at 6 pm and the voters were engaged in protest. The protesters calmed down only after officials announced that those who were in the queue until 6 pm will be allowed to cast their vote. Token was given to those persons and voting continued. However, many of the persons returned knowing they will have to wait further.
In earlier polls, once indelible ink is applied on the finger, it only took five seconds for a person to cast vote. But with the VVPAT machine, it took an additional seven second for a person. This also contributed to the delay.
The technical glitches in the electronic voting machines during polling and the late start of the process in various booths resulted in the delay.
Meanwhile, chief election officer Teeka Ram Meena said that only one per cent of the total EVMs and VVPAT machines had been faulty in Kerala while the national average is 4.5 per cent. This is very common as rain, lightning and thunder can result in the malfunctioning of the machines.