EVMs go out of order, voting delayed

Kochi: Voting in several polling booths in the district was delayed for hours in the morning due to malfunctioning of the Electronic Voting Machines.

According to officials, glitches developed in the EVMs when polling started at 7 a.m. However, all of them were replaced and the polling was completed without any delay.

The EVMs developed trouble at Kongarappalli Government Higher Secondary School, Pallipram Asasul Islam Madrassa in Vazhakkulam panchayat, 4 Cent Colony Anganvady at Karumaloor and Kadavanthra St Joseph's English Medium Nursery School.

The EVMs were replaced thrice in booth number 147 at Kalamassery. "When the first machine malfunctioned, they brought another within half an hour but it was out of charge. A third machine was brought which delayed the voting for many hours and many left without voting," a voter of Kalamassery said.

The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) also malfunctioned in some booths, including Pookkattupady St George Public School, Pallipram Assassul Islam Madrassa and Ooramana Government High School. The machines went out of order shortly after the voting started. The officials rectified them within one hour and continued the voting.

Glitches were also found in the ballot units at Government High School, Elamakkara, Kothamangalam Devaswom Board High School and Chendamangalam Government LP School during the mock polls which started at 6 a.m. The EVMs were replaced at 7 a.m.

Meanwhile, the VVPATs caused confusion among the voters and delayed the voting process in Ernakulam district. The machines were either slow or faulty. Most of the voters were not aware of the functioning of the VVPATs.

The voters were confused as the beeping sound was heard seven seconds after the vote was cast. When the machine beeps, a paper slip displaying the name and symbol of the candidate drops into a sealed box thereby confirming the vote.

Meanwhile, a mobile phone was seized by the presiding officer from a person who allegedly attempted to record the video of the EVM while voting at a polling station at Puthenvelikkara. The phone was handed over to Puthenvelikkara police.

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