Indian Express

Eying 85 pc turnout, election dept offers many sops

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The facility of free pick and drop for casting vote will be available to senior citizens who have no one to take them to the polling booth. The facility of free pick and drop for casting vote will be available to senior citizens who have no one to take them to the polling booth.

From a pick and drop facility for the elderly and disabled, to information about the rush at polling booths, besides several incentives for voting — the UT Election Department will be providing many facilities to residents for casting their votes.

A total of 6.13 lakh people are registered as voters. In the past elections, voting remained fairly low, particularly in the northern sectors. In 2009, it was 65.7 per cent. The department hopes to push it up by offering facilities and incentives.

“We have taken several initiatives this time to facilitate the voters. The target is to take the polling percentage to 85 per cent. There would be no long queues. The process of voting has been made joyful. People should come out to cast their votes,” says UT Home Secretary-cum-Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar.

The facility of free pick and drop for casting vote will be available to senior citizens who have no one to take them to the polling booth.

However, they will have to call up at 2700322 or 1950 and get themselves registered in advance. The registration has already begun and will continue on Wednesday. At the polling booths, they will get priority for casting their votes.

For the visually impaired, ballot papers in braille will be made available. Such voters have already been identified. NSS volunteers will be present at all polling booths to help voters.

In order to avoid waiting in long queues to cast their votes, voters can register themselves at 9216164606 to get regular updates on the number of people waiting at their polling booths. A software-based identification process has been introduced this time which will ensure that the queues move faster.

All polling stations in the city will be model polling stations, with helpful signages to guide voters. Drinking water will be available. The process of voting will be webcast throughout the day. The polling will take place from 7 am to 6 pm.

Apart from this, several incentives are being offered to voters which include discounts in hotels and restaurants and shops, for which the Election Department has tied up with business establishments. The first-time voters will also be issued certificates.

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