this is how we do it (voter registration 101)

March 5, 2009
 

Thank goodness this is only supposed to happen once in this lifetime. It was such a bad experience I’d be loath to wish it on an enemy! To start with, the registration location (“Badminton Hall”) was ridiculously hard to find and there was a lone policewoman trying to impose order outside. She did eventually let 10 people in at a time. Her directions about what to do inside were literally directions: “Turn right.” What I saw is what you see. And beyond these people were ceiling high stacks of paper. After waiting in two lines (once to receive a “number” – ward? Jaago Re neglected to mention this one) this absolutely rude woman said she couldn’t accept my PAN card as proof of my date of birth (regardless of what their web site says) and if “sir” said it was ok, she’d take the voter registration application. But “sir” flipped past the PAN card and fixated on my mobile phone bill as not being valid proof of address, instead. After raising my voice and demanding his name and ID number (to the absolute unconcealed delight of at least 300 people), I finally got them to accept my application and give me the counterfoil.
It didn’t seem to matter to them that they don’t make the decision about whether my application is accepted or rejected, they’re so used to playing God, they wouldn’t even take it! I was shaking with disbelief and anger about how difficult the bureaucracy makes it for even the people who DO want to vote. 🙁
All around me, people were being turned away for missing documents. There was someone in line ahead of me who’d returned for the fourth time! Why is the correct information not publicly available? And how can these officials be this rude to fellow human beings?

 
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23 Responses to “this is how we do it (voter registration 101)”

  1. […] anything but easy as Chhavi found out. After waiting in two lines (once to receive a “number” – ward? Jaago Re neglected to mention […]

  2. v says:

    It’s the same every where, Jago Re did say something about ward number, and thats one thing I couldn’t search on their website, it would take me to a map! So I decided to walk into the Party office of this new Political unit set-up by actor turned social worker turned politician dude, reportedly A.P. state government has facilitated online registration and the party workers had all the info, and helped me file online, almost a month later some govt official came home when I

  3. v says:

    It’s the same every where, Jago Re did say something about ward number, and thats one thing I couldn’t search on their website, it would take me to a map! So I decided to walk into the Party office of this new Political unit set-up by actor turned social worker turned politician dude, reportedly A.P. state government has facilitated online registration and the party workers had all the info, and helped me file online, almost a month later some govt official came home snapped a crappy pic, and finally I have my voter card. the Ration Card served both address & ID proof, they don’t accept PAN for address, neither mobile-phone bill!
    Wonder how they expect the people to know all this, we don’t study in social studies either! shouldn’t there be a chapter on this?

  4. Vincent says:

    Your description makes India looks like France! Except the officials are not on strike every other day. If they do a small effort,soon, your country will be a respected democracy just like mine! };-)

  5. krist0ph3r says:

    hmmmm…i did my registration 2 years ago and it went off without a hitch, except that they combined and distorted my first and middle names to make me kristophernicus (oh yeah!!! now that’s a name i’d like!!!). there was a lot of jostling with sweaty people, but everything was done in 4 hours, in the first try and the first standing in line.

    btw i just carried every document i could find (phone bill, ration card, birth certificate, school leaving certificate, college id, even my freakin railway pass!!!) 🙂

  6. akshat says:

    Hearing about experiences like this, one wonders how easily the bogus names are added and honest, law-abiding citizens are left standing in line. My experience is no better … waiting for name to get added and get EPIC.

  7. _ram-jaane' says:

    & this is why films about vigilantes have an ‘appeal’ .. if every official wasn’t such a lazy so & so that hated their job & vented on the public would we need a Goddamn Batman?!

    @kristophernicus — for any identity fraud peoples, that would have been a good day to rob you 😛

  8. Ankita Gaba says:

    no wonder ppl dont want to vote or make efforts to get their voting cards made.

    sad state man sad state.

    CAN ANYTHIN BE DONE.

    glad u blasted them

  9. Nicely described… it’s indeed a hell of a experience to deal with these folks.

  10. xanindia says:

    This is the usual scene at the rural areas. Too many people do queuing at the last minute. Thus, this very disorganized situation. Computerization might help but its too costly. Better to spend to help the needy.

  11. wnwek says:

    Attagirl! Next time do take a belan with you. Then they won’t argue. Even stilettos should do. After you take out the first person’s eye, everybody will magically become efficient. 😀

  12. […] wonders why only beverage companies do election themed social advertising. Indian Homemaker and Chavvi Sachdev share their experiences with voter registration. Sanjukta has an interesting interview with Jaago […]

  13. […] wonders why only beverage companies do election themed social advertising. Indian Homemaker and Chavvi Sachdev share their experiences with voter registration. Sanjukta has an interesting interview with Jaago […]

  14. […] wondered why only beverage companies do election themed social advertising. Indian Homemaker and Chavvi Sachdev shared their experiences with voter registration. Sanjukta did an interesting interview with Jaago […]

  15. […] wondered why only beverage companies do election themed social advertising. Indian Homemaker and Chavvi Sachdev shared their experiences with voter registration. Sanjukta did an interesting interview with Jaago […]

  16. […] wondered why only beverage companies do election themed social advertising. Indian Homemaker and Chavvi Sachdev shared their experiences with voter registration. Sanjukta did an interesting interview with Jaago […]

  17. […] Now, finally, I feel like I actually belong. I had to fight for it ;D But I did vote! So, you read about how I was sure they’d ripped up my application after I’d left when I went to register. I checked online but my name wasn’t on the […]

  18. Gwendolyn says:

    And this is the reason I read http://www.chhavisachdev.com. Stunning post.

  19. 安心 says:

    Good idea! Can be considered a learned thing, ok.

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  23. […] the voter list. Thanks to extremely helpful volunteers in my area, I found the right list and got a temporary voter card in 2009 and also was proud to vote in […]

 
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