Travelling 65 km to cast our vote on a scorching Thursday was exciting but required a lot of patience too. Shifting our residence from Perambur to Pallikaranai was uncomplicated a couple of years ago, but getting the revised voter ID was no easy task. With the corrected voter ID not in hand despite submitting the necessary details during a special camp organised for voter info correction, we headed to a polling booth in Kottivakkam as per the update given in Voter Helpline app. Soon, we found it was an incorrect revision. From there we drove down to the polling booth in a good old school near Perambur where we had cast our votes for more than a decade.
Less traffic on arterial roads was a big relief. However, the slow-moving serpentine queue in the polling booth tested our patience. Finally we exercised our franchise after an hour.
Probably, for the first time, we could see people, waiting in queues, talking to each other, observing the happenings around and not fiddling with their cellphones. Mobiles have been banned, but some voters were found holding them in their hands.
Senior citizens were given priority and allowed to cast their vote as soon as they entered the booth. Interestingly, no one grumbled when senior citizens were permitted to jump the queue at regular intervals. A can of drinking water kept there quenched parched throats.
Since one man for every two women was allowed, male voters had to sweat it out in long queues. As a ripple effect, women voters had to wait for their husband/father/brother to vote before going home. Some of them had brought their children.
A young man, meanwhile, showed a portrait of Kamaraj there to his little son and told him that he was a 'Good CM' bringing a smile on some faces. The presiding officer's prompt reply to a query on VVPAT was also encouraging.
Despite complaints of faulty EVMs, brisk polling was recorded throughout the state.
Responsible voters, heightened awareness on democratic rights and coordinated efforts of the Election Commission and the state machinery have made polling by and large peaceful in the state.