The Election Commission’s move to set up all-woman booths for the assembly polls in Rajasthan received a mixed response. The polling staffs expressed some reservations while Voters giving it thumb up.
As an experiment in the state, the polling staff and security personnel at 259 out of the state’s total 51,687 polling booths are all women managed. Fifty of these booths have been set up in state Capital Jaipur alone. Both men and women can cast votes at these women patrolled booths.Women voters lauded the initiative.
“It is indeed a good initiative. We are getting a chance to learn about the electoral system, but it would have been better if there was male support staff to carry and deposit the voting machines,” Chandrika Warde, presiding officer of a polling centre set up at Government Girls School in Gandhi Nagar area, said.
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Presiding officer of another polling booth, Hemlata Saini, too said support staff should have been provided to deposit the voting machines. Several others expressed similar sentiments.
The women officials said commuting late at night after depositing the voting machines can be risky. Additional Chief Election Officer Dr Joga Ram said no complaints had been received from women polling officials. Action will be taken to address their grievances if a complaint is filed, he said.