Despite several awareness campaigns on the importance of voting, lakhs of people did not exercise their franchise on April 6. The State recorded a polling percentage of 71.79% with Chennai seeing a below-par turnout of just 59.06%.
Several people Express spoke to said they made good use of the long weekend (which began with Good Friday on April 2 and ended on April 6), while others said they did not see what good it would do.
J Harikumar (38) of Red Hills said that May month being auspicious for marriage, he and his fiancee used the days to travel to invite relatives and friends.
“It is difficult for us to take a break. We did not want to invite people through social media posts,” says Harikumar
A quick getaway
Some people like K Shilpa of Velachery planned a quick trip before a possible lockdown.
“Stuck within four walls for a long time, we needed a break mentally. We prioritised mental health over voting,” she said.
Meanwhile, a group of five youngsters from Tiruchy said the long weekend finally gave them the time to visit Goa.
“We had voted twice but our votes changed nothing,” said one of the youngsters
Many working in other States couldn’t travel owing to pandemic. F Anne Roshini (26), who works in Mumbai and U Madhumitha (32) who works in Kerala said they just didn’t want to risk contracting the virus
What difference does it make?
Many other youngsters said the entire exercise made no sense.
“It is my right and I chose not to use it,” said 25-year-old Adayar resident Deepthi K Mohan, adding the State has remained the same, no matter who is voted to power. H Sabari from Tirunelveli said that he simply decided to relax
“We were following news channels about the situation in the polling booths. Some neighbours who went to cast their vote said that there was a lack of social distancing. Seeing the videos on news we decided to stay home,” said B Narendra Babu, 53, from Nandambakkam; 27-year-old Meghana of Ponneri said her whole family didn’t vote as they live with her grandparents who are nearing their 90s.