A Confusing Voting Experience

rock the vote.jpgI voted !! Did you? Karachi went to the polls today to elect the local Karachi Govt that would serve us for the next few years. Two major parties are actually the front runners in the elections and was not surprising to see them at each others throat leading up to the big day. Especially if you had the opportunity to see the Talk show with Hamid Mir where Naimatullah and Farooq Sattar were at each other. A very interesting discussion took place to say the least as many accusations were openly thrown at each other.

Today being declared a public holiday the streets wore a deserted look as probably everyone choose to stay home and enjoy the day off with only a few concerned people brave enough to exercise their right to vote and made it to the polling stations. Well I choose to exercise my right but sadly the experience was mind-numbing to say the least.

Being at work I choose lunch time to head out to the polling stations, firstly having no clue where exactly to vote I was sent on a wild goose chase to two centers until finally I landed on our designated polling center. The first hurdle was to locate my name amongst the 100 or so pages twenty minutes later we hit jackpot. The first setback was a misspelled name, the Election Commission had me listed as AKAAB ALVI where it should have been AWAB ALVI. I choose to try my luck and went inside, luckily none of the polling agents objected and quickly was herded to a table where the agent handed me the first TWO ballot papers, the next station another set of TWO and the last station was the final TWO.

With a massive total of SIX Multi-coloured Ballot papers. I went into the enclosure pulled out my “Pharra” / “Party Symbols Cheat Sheet” so that I can mark off the correct symbols, there started the confusion, with a rickety table and with 8 pieces of papers (ID Card + Voter card + 6 Ballot papers) I started off slowly ensuring I mark the correct symbols. When finished with the first five ballot papers I was surprised to see the sixth one still sying there at that moment, irritated with the process I said Damn! and just marked off the cute looking Rabit (I had no idea who was the candidate).

I narrate this experience becasue I feel that if I was confused juggling with the six multi-coloured Ballot papers I can only imagine how confused an illiterate person would be to handle the situation. They talk about making it simpilar, I doubt it was any better then a Matric Examination.

2 Comments so far

  1. Anathema (unregistered) on August 19th, 2005 @ 1:55 am

    My first voting experiecce was so horrible i opted to not vote this time. CNICs had freshly launched and the EC had said anyone with a CNIC automatically gets enrolled. We still checked the day beforee the election and found out our names were in the list, and our polling station was at Copper Kettle.

    Hell broke loose on election mornin.

    The list reached the station at 8:30 and our names were absent. We drove around every booth in Defence, considering we were the first voters present, searching for our name. Went back to our said venue fve times until at quarter to fivvve they announced an “additional listo of CNICs had arrived and our name was in it”. By the time we were allowed inside it was five! Imagine. Got lucky but try driving in the heat all day long.

    I vowed I would not let that happen this time.

  2. Maaz A. Khan (unregistered) on August 28th, 2005 @ 9:53 pm

    Same here, I voted for the first time too. Damn! I love the election scene in Karachi. It’s so much exciting to say the least since ‘the’ two parties always behave like blood thirsty animals. Right?

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