Was there any justification in extending polling hours? It is illogical; Says presiding officials

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Mangalore, May 7: Presiding officials have begun questioning the logic behind the chief election commission (CEC) decision to extend poll timings by an hour.

CEC in its notification dated April 10, 2013 rejected the demand of political parties and fixed the polling hours between 7 am and 5 pm.Having taken notice of the extreme heat prevailing in Karnataka and some merit in the demand CEC has decided to extend the timings at the eleventh hour on May 4, in order to facilitate all voters even during the late hours.

Accordingly,ECI under section 56 of representation of people Act  1951 CEC has modified its earlier notification and extended the hours from 7 am to 6 pm. A maximum of 20 voters turned up during the extended hours as opined by presiding officials.

Polling booth of 51 and 52 at Harekala pavoor in Mangalore taluk witnessed zero turn out. According to the presiding official of Mangalore south assembly constituency, who registered 12 voters, did not find any myth behind the CEC decision of extending the hours.

The ECI should have considered its decision by looking at it from presiding official’s point of view as working for more than 12 hours without basic facilities and break is inhumane as per one of the presiding officials.

As a result of extended hour and lack of transport one woman official had to reach at mignight sources said. The nearly sixteen hour work is anti-constitutional and it did not motivate extra voting either rued another presiding official, who registered 10 voters at a polling booth in Kurnadu,on the city’s outskirt.

The informed urban voters leisurely stepped into the booth between 5pm and 6pm and in rural areas where there was not much awareness created about the extended hours, most of the voters exercised their franchise before 5pm said another official.

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