Millennium Post

Busy day for EC helpline for voters

As polling was held for municipal elections today, two telephones rang incessantly at the State Election Commission office here throughout the day, keeping busy the seven officials assigned to handle complaints of voters.

The helpline opened by State Election Commission to cater to the complaints of voters on the polling day for Delhi's three municipal corporations received nearly two calls every single minute from around 7 AM till the end of voting at 5:30 PM.

The SEC had set up the helpline with telephone lines open for communication for voters.

"The helpline was open from 6:30 am and we received the first call at 7 AM. We received around 1,000 calls during the day.

"Ninety per cent of them were regarding absence of their names in voters' list. There were complaints about absence of Form 49(O) and Form 11(A) at polling stations if he decides not to vote," one of the seven officials handling the helpline told PTI.

There were also queries regarding the telephone contact of the sitting councillors among others.

Some of those who could not get the 'Right to Reject' forms also drove to the SEC to complain about not getting an opportunity to exercise their right to reject candidates.

One of them, a 19-year-old youth Akshay Malhotra alleged that he reached the polling station and asked them for the right to reject form but he was not given that. He claimed the polling officials were not aware any such form.

Those who approached the helpline were directed to meet the concerned Sector Officer, who is incharge of two to three polling stations.

Similar complaints were received from other parts of the city. Many of those who demanded for such forms were youth.

According to law, voters can use two provisions of the law id they chose not to vote -- under Form 49(O), the voter can fill the form for not voting without taking part in any procedures at the polling booth while under Form 11(A), the voter decides not to vote after completing the initial procedures.
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