HYDERABAD: The jumbo ballot boxes being used in the MLC election from graduate constituency of Mahbubnagar-Ranga Reddy-Hyderabad can accommodate as many as 1,500 votes.
Following instructions of the Election Commission of India, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has prepared jumbo boxes measuring two feet in length, two feet in breadth and two-and-a-half feet in height. These boxes were necessitated since as many as 93 candidates are contesting the MLC polls from this constituency. This required an equally jumbo ballot paper measuring 23 x 34 inches. This apart, authorities will also have the usual ballot boxes in case of any emergency.
Significantly, poll staff estimated that each voter might take between eight minutes to 10 minutes or even longer to cast his or her vote.
There are 5,32,268 eligible voters in 799 polling stations spread over the three districts. A maximum of 1,200 voters can vote in each polling station. However, arrangements have been made for 1,500 voters to cast their vote. The jumbo box will be used to hold 800–1,500 ballot papers. The normal box accommodates about 400 votes.
Voters will be given a violet sketch pen and ballot paper. They should write ‘1’ in the ‘Order of Preference’ column next to the name of the candidate. This would be their first preference. They can write ‘1’ only next to the name of one candidate.
Electors can have several preferences. For example, if there are five candidates, a voter can mark his/her choice as 1 against the candidate he prefers the best. The voter can indicate the preference for remaining candidates by writing 2, 3, 4 and 5 against their names.
Meanwhile, GHMC headquarters was full of poll staff on Tuesday. Inquiries revealed that the election wing has not distributed stationery, including sketch pens, trunk boxes, or postal ballots for persons above 80 years or with special needs or suffering from Covid-19.
Authorities say electors still have 48 hours’ time to register for postal ballot votes.