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7 am to 6 pm: Voting continuous shows today
The stage is set for D-Day on Thursday and all arrangements are in place in more than 67,000 polling booths across the State. With 5.9 crore voters, elections will be held to 38 Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu on Thursday.
The voting process will commence at 7 am and continue till 6 pm. However, in Madurai, the polling will continue till 8 pm owing to the Azhagar festival.
The ECI has taken all necessary steps to provide basic amenities including drinking water, toilet facilities, shelter and ramps would be setup in all polling stations.
A school authority in a Corporation School in Kumaramangalam Colony near Perambur said that based on the ECI orders, toilets were revamped and water tanks were filled to their capacity. The school already had ramps for the convenience of the differently-abled persons, it said.
Basic amenities like fans and lights were also set up inside the polling booths for the election officials. Wheelchairs have also been kept ready in the booths to cater to the differently-abled voters inside the polling stations. In some polling stations where ramps were not available, temporary wooden boards were set up. A minor shortfall with the wooden ramps is that they lack handle-bars that would provide support to the users.
Theatres cancel shows today
While a holiday has been declared for all the offices and other establishments on Thursday to facilitate the staff to cast their votes, theatres across TN have also cancelled the morning and noon shows in view of the elections.
“It has been a practice to cancel two shows on the day of elections and we have followed the same pattern. We have employees from other districts and constituencies. This would help them cast their votes. Also, it will help film buffs go out and vote instead of spending their time in a theatre,” Tirupur Subramaniam, president of Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners’ Association, told DT Next.
“This is holiday season and there is a good rush. Though it will dent our revenue, we also want to contribute on our part to make the democratic exercise a success. The average loss that we will incur across the state will be around Rs 20 crore.”
Similarly, a private commercial satellite channel has also cancelled its shows to make people vote. An announcement regarding the same was shown in the channel asking the voters to cast their votes.