Vijayawada: The rise in mercury levels on polling day created problems for the voters, especially the elderly, who were forced to wait longer due to malfunctioning EVMs at some polling booths.
On Thursday, the maximum temperature was 360C and the minimum also crossed the 210C mark. This was slightly higher than the 350C that has prevailed in the district since April 6. Many of the senior citizens had reached the polling booths by 6.30 am to avoid the heat.
However, the glitches in the EVMs meant that their wait stretched well beyond four hours at some places.
Some of the senior citizens said that they were suffering due to falling sugar levels as they had come to cast their vote without having their breakfast.
Though the Election Commission had launched an app to facilitate voters know booth-wise voter position, very few voters utilised it.
Also, there were no chairs for the elderly to sit while waiting for their turn to vote. Tired, frustrated, hungry and suffering, many of the senior citizens returned home, without casting their vote.
At several polling stations, the EC had arranged the shamianas but they were not useful for the senior citizen as the queues were lengthy. At the polling station set up at Nirmala High School in Vijayawada, the wheelchairs arranged for the disabled voters were of no use since there was no space for them to be utilised.
S. Srirama Murthy, an elderly gentleman told this reporter at the polling station at Navabharath School: “I came here directly from my morning walk to cast my vote early. I was forced to wait in the queue till 9 am on an empty stomach. When people of my age remain hungry that long, the variations in their sugar levels do make a difference.”
He said that the polling personnel might have done their mock poll, but it was of no use.
Krishna district Senior Citizen Association secretary Motukuri Venkateswara Rao said: “I was also assigned election duty from 1961 and has cast vote several times, but this year, the arrangements were the worst ever.
He said that the EC “utterly failed in the conducting election” and it did not bother about the problems faced by senior citizens.
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