As the GVMC elections, held after 14 years, drew to a close, several excited first-time voters, who waited patiently in the queue lines at their respective polling stations from the morning to cast their vote, returned disappointed due to the confusion of polling officials in Vizag on Wednesday. Many first-time voters were crestfallen on not finding their names in the voter’s list and did not get to exercise their franchise. Though the adults found the process quite smooth, however, many youngsters felt that there should be order in the pooling booths. Always passionate to get their voters heard, first-time voters were in for a nasty surprise this time around.
Nupur Biswas explained, “I went to two polling booths before going to the right one.” She was taken aback when she saw the ballot paper is in the Telugu Language. “I cannot read Telugu, but recognize the symbols. It would have been nice if the ballot paper was in English as well,” she said. Another first-time voter Krishna Vinayak(21), a student from Shastra University, said that the voting process was quite smooth. “I faced no trouble. GVMC is one of the best municipal corporations in AP. I hope we become the best. There are many stalled projects, I hope they will be completed soon,” he said.
Harshita Vaddadi, who could not cast her vote, said that she was feeling guilty about the same. “The turnout of youngsters was quite low because of political disenfranchisement and apathy. It is a vicious cycle. Because I did not get the necessary information in time, I was not able to vote. I wish the district administration makes the public more aware about elections, voting system, and language options.” Many first-time voters who did not get to vote said that they lack awareness regarding the election process. “No educational institute makes a serious effort to make us understand the dos and dot’s of the elections,” P Ramya, who could not vote as her name was not found in the voter’s list, said, sadly.