Lok Sabha Election Chaos: Missing Voter Names Spark Outcry in Pune

Lok Sabha Election Chaos: Missing Voter Names Spark Outcry in Pune

Lok Sabha Election Chaos: Missing Voter Names Spark Outcry in Pune

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Residents express frustration as administrative lapses deprive them of voting rights.

13 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

As the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha elections commenced in Maharashtra, concerns over missing names from the voters’ list have cast a shadow over the electoral process. Eleven constituencies in Maharashtra, including three pivotal ones—Pune, Shirur and Maval—saw voters flocking to polling stations in the early hours of Monday to exercise their democratic right. 

However, for many, the journey turned futile as they realised they were disenfranchised due to missing names on the voter’s list. Shuajuddin Shaiwala from Fakhri Hills, Kondhwa, Pune is one such case. He expressed his disappointment, saying, “My wife and I went eagerly to cast our votes in a school in Kondhwa like we did the last time, only to discover that our names were missing from the voter’s list. It was disheartening to realise that we wouldn’t be able to exercise our right to vote. We tried to get help from someone but we felt helpless knowing that there was nothing we could do at that moment. We were advised by officials to submit a Form 17, but it was frustrating to learn that many others faced the same issue of missing names.”

Another citizen, Aruna Tambuwala based in Lullanagar who could not find her name in the list, said about her experience, “We have resided in the same house and locality for the past 30 years, yet to our surprise, the names of all six family members were inexplicably deleted from the voter’s list. We have voted in 2014 as well as 2019 elections. Despite this setback, our daughter managed to register as a new voter and received her voting card. She successfully cast her vote. However, to inquire about the situation, we visited ward offices and polling stations, providing our Aadhar cards as proof of identity, but to no avail. Even after cross-checking the list at 4 o’clock in the evening, our names were nowhere to be found in the 2024 list. Even after contacting officials on the helpline numbers as well as emails given by the Election Commission, we received no reply for days. This entire ordeal has been a waste of time and far from a good experience, especially for my husband who just arrived in India yesterday from Italy, only to be met with such discrepancies.” 

Melvin Joel, a resident of the Kubera Colony, NIBM, shared his experience. “I exercised my voting rights without any issues during the 2019 elections, so it was truly shocking to encounter the absence of my name in the 2024 elections today. I meticulously checked two different booths, then continued my search at several others, yet my name wasn’t there. When I looked for my wife’s name, I discovered a spelling error in my own name on her card—’Melvin’ had been recorded as ‘Mglvin’. I received no assistance from authorities who are supposedly there to help.”

He continued, “The entire experience was nothing short of terrible. The right to vote is important to me, and I felt it was taken away from me today. I checked the Election Commission website, where I entered my details and the OTP, and I found no records of my name. Apparently, the site said that my mobile number was not registered which was strange to me.”