April 16, 2011

TN Elections: Educated go out to vote

There was a positive feature to Elections 2011 in the two constituencies I chose to focus on  Voting Day, April 13.

Many young people stood in the queue to cast their ballot. As did many ‘upwardly mobile’ people.

This is perhaps the first time in many, many years that I have witnessed this trend at the polling booths in the Mylapore-Adyar neighbourhoods.

Though the neighboruhoods now fall under two constituencies since a new one called Velachery was carved out and Adyar now comes under it, the character and colour of these areas is pretty much common.

I chose not to be in the queue at 8 a.m. but to catch up with the news. And when I did walk out at 11 a.m. and walked past two polling booths, there were at least 30 to 50 people at each polling station. Working couples in their 40s, young professionals, senior citizens and many women.

Many people came in their latest cars, cursed the heat but chose to stand in the queue though some who decided they were VIPs walked past the police to the booth and were challenged by seniors in the queue. “This is one day when all of us are equal!” piped up one old man.

The trend was quite similar is many places. People seemed determined to vote.

But as the first round of voting trends came out it was evident that less than 70% of the electorate in the neighbourhood had cast their ballot. So while the turnout of the educated and the well-off was positive, there were many people who were partying in Bangalore or watching television at home or simply could not be bothered because they had not received the Voter Slip at the doorstep.

There were many hiccups. Names not listed in the electoral rolls. Pictures missing in the rolls. Mix-ups in booth numbering. Lazy poll officials. Officials who discouraged you from opting for 49(O). And yet, I got to know that many people made an effort to negotiate these hiccups. Or gave up after an argument.

The new MLAs will be known only a month later. If you start to engage with him or her from then on, you will be going beyond merely voting.

1 comment:

iamkgj said...

It would be nice if the public get to chose the ministers rather than letting party people fight it out amongst themselves....