This time when you go to cast your vote during the municipal elections in April, you will not have the helping hand of representatives of councillors or parties, sitting under an umbrella outside the polling booth in your area. You will be left to fend for yourself in the electoral maze.
The election commission is planning to ban such stalls put up by councillors or parties near polling booths and, instead, depute a polling officer to guide voters.
The move will not only help reduce the expenditure of candidates, but will also keep a check on bogus voting.
Sources said many candidates have welcomed the move as a large chunk of their election expenses go into this. This year, each councillor will be allowed to spend R3.5 lakh on campaigning.
“Most parties set-up tables having details of the voters of their area. They distribute slips, informing the voters, which room they need to go to. However, many a time, this exercise becomes more of a vote-gaining tactic where voters are brought in bulk in vehicles to cast their franchise minutes before the deadline.
We want to curb such malpractices and are planning to depute our own officials to help voters,” said an election commission official.
Councillors, having low budget to spend on campaigning, claim the move will benefit them a lot.