HYDERABAD: On the eve of polling, several voters discovered that the division/ ward where they had initially voted had changed. In some cases, individuals staying in the same house from the same family have been given voter slips for two different wards, raising concerns that people may not vote due to the added inconvenience of visiting different polling stations.
"In a classic case, a couple was allotted their vote in Division 136 and 140 even though they reside in the same address. We are urging citizens to check their vote with their Elector's Photo Identity Card (EPIC) number. If they cannot find their names in the selected divisions, they must check in adjacent divisions," noted BT Sreenivas from the United Federation of Resident Welfare Associations (UFERWAS).
In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Chevella, Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Malkajgiri had one of the worst voter turnouts in the last 15 years at 53.80 per cent, 39.49 per cent, 39.20 per cent and 42.75 per cent.
With the COVID-19 crisis continuing to affect lives, such discrepancies are likely to affect the turnout further, and a lower than usual turnout is being anticipated. People have taken to Twitter to highlight the issue as well.
Srinivas Manooru, who works for the BJP, said that while many have not received their voter slips, the few who managed to download it have found that their wards have been shifted. Vinay Vangala from Miyapur stated that senior citizens and people without access to internet and phones were at a disadvantage as the SEC and GHMC officials have been pushing for online download of voter slips.