Elders prefer ballot boxes, youngsters EVMs

An elderly woman being taken to polling booth by her grand children in R S Pura on Saturday.
An elderly woman being taken to polling booth by her grand children in R S Pura on Saturday.

After voting people expect development

Sanjeev K. Sharma
R S PURA/SATWAR, Dec 8: I: Voicing to shun the stereotype practice of ballot boxes for voting, most of the youth and some elders have favoured for Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) for Panchayat polls also citing it to be accurate, easy and quick to perform and get quick and accurate results.
It was the eighth phase of Panchayat elections in Jammu today where polling was held at many places.
Outside a Polling Booth in R S Pura was long queue of voters braving the winter chill and waiting for their turn to cast their votes to elect a candidate of their choice
R S Pura is an agriculture belt in Jammu well known for its world famous delicious Basmati rice.
In this agriculture belt at Panchayat Halqa Sunderpur polling was held at a Govt Primary School near a dry canal.
After casting vote, a young man Amanvir Singh, who works in private sector, told this reporter that he has voted to a candidate of his choice as he expects developments in his village.
On his views about use of EVMs, he said that the ballot box system used in voting should now be replaced fully by EVMs as the latter is easy to use and there is no issue of slips and stamping them followed by folding them properly before putting them into the ballot boxes.
Another voter-an elderly Satpal Kour, 65 years of age at the same Polling Station too expected betterment of her hamlet by the winning candidate.
However, her views about EVMs were extremely different and she said that the ballot box system of voting was better as even illiterate people can accomplish voting using this procedure.
She said that EVMs can be easily used by educated people.
A young driver Harpreet Singh, who too cast his vote, said that he too expects development in his village but on EVMs he too said that EVMs are better than ballot boxes but added that the latter can even be used easily by the less educated people.
A farmer-S Gurdev Singh-65-after casting the vote said that he too expected that the elected Panchayat members should work for the welfare of farmers and overall development of the village.
On EVMs, he said that these machines are better as these take very less time in voting.
“Just a press of the button and you have cast your vote,” he said adding that even results are too obtained in lesser time as compared to those in ballot box system as votes are manually counted in ballot box system.
About five kilometres away from this place was another Panchayat Halqa-Baspur which too went to poll today with the Polling Station at Government Boys High School Rangpur Maulanian.
Booth Level Officer-Bharti Rajput at a Polling Booth in this Polling Station informed that the polling was going normal there.
The Presiding Officer, Arvind Rajput at a Polling Booth said in that particular Booth of (Ward number-6) there were total of 162 voters of which 88 were males and 74 females
A young housewife Rajinder Kour-28-standing in the queue waiting for her turn to cast vote said that she expects development and welfare of women and farmer in her village.
She also said that girls should be educated and facilities for that should be there in all the villages
On EVM, she said that it is a better choice as there is more accuracy in these machines while in ballot boxes many votes get wasted either by wrongly stamping or by during folding the voting slips.
Similarly, an elderly housewife Surjit Kour, aged 66 years too expected development of her village from the elected Panches and Sarpanches whom she voted today.
On EVMs she said that ballot box system is good as EVMs are for educated people.
The number of voters at these Polling Booths remained very less and at another Booth number-9 in the same Polling Station the Presiding Office, R.K Bhat informed that there were total 122 voters.
In another Polling Station of the same Panchayat Halqa at Government Middle School Bera, an elderly lady Pyar Kour of 88 years of age visited to vote as her son helped her to walk owing to her old age and ill health.
When contacted she said that anyone winning the elections will first of all fill own coffers and least bother about others.
On use of EVMs, she said that both systems are good as she had used both.
A young girl Kajal Chib-20-studying in BA part-1 said that she was going for the first time to vote and was happy for that. She said that she will vote to a candidate of her choice to get her village developed.
On use of EVMs she said that as she was first timer to cast her vote so she had no much idea of that.
“Whatever I know about EVM is that what news channels said,” she said.
Another lady standing in the queue-Gitu-a housewife of 40 years of age said that she desires development in her village and added that EVM system of voting is unmatchable as it is easy to use and is error free.
Yet another man of 62 years of age-Rashpal said that he has voted for the development of his village and he expects that the elected Panchayat members will work in that direction.
On EVMs, he said that these machines are better than ballot boxes as it is easy to vote on these machines while the process of voting using ballot boxes is very cumbersome.
Another Panchayat Halqa en-route was Panchayat Khana Chak Purobana.
A Polling Station here was made here at Government Middle School Khana Chak.
Jagdish Raj-Presiding Officer at one of the booths (booth number 5) in this Polling Station informed that there were only 148 voters in his booth.
One of the voters at this Polling Station-Gitish– 19 plus studying in class 10th was a first timer to vote and he said that he expects betterment of his village after the candidate of his choice emerges as a winner. He expressed confidence that the winning candidate will work for the betterment of the village.
Nidhi Sharma, 20-a B.Sc student too was a first timer and she said that her village needs development and all the facilities for which she pinned hopes on the new team which will be elected.
She said that she has now voted using ballot box but wished that it would be better if it were EVMs.
“We should be innovative and this stereotype of ballot boxes which is decades old should not be used anymore,” she said.