KOCHI: Despite being the first voter to arrive at St Mary's Convent Girls Higher Secondary School at Kacheripady in Ernakulam, Syro Malabar Church's Major Archbishop Cardinal George Alencherry was unable to cast his vote on Tuesday due to a faulty Electronic Voting Machine (EVM).
After a futile wait of more than an hour, the Cardinal had to leave without casting his vote, to conduct the final funeral rites of Bishop Abraham Mattom, who passed away last week.
"The Bishop's funeral will take place at Satna, but the Cardinal had to offer prayers and last rites here, prior accompanying the Bishop's mortal remains to Satna in UP, by the morning flight", said sources.
The Cardinal had arrived at 6.45 am at the booth to cast his vote. "He was the first to arrive for voting, but when he tried to cast his vote, the EVM turned out to be defective," said poll officials.
Though he stayed till 8: 15 am, the officials could not rectify or replace the machine. Subsequently, the Cardinal had to leave, to conduct the prayers and then catch his flight scheduled at 10:30 am.
The EVM was finally rectified at around 9:15, and voting resumed.
Even before the voting began, long queues had formed outside the polling booth.
Along with Cardinal George Alencherry, former Archbishop, Archdiocese of Verapoly Francis Kallara was also present at the polling booth. He left after casting his vote, once the problems with the EVMs were sorted out.