SIRAHA, Dec 5: Ineffective voter education in rural as well as urban areas of Siraha has increased the fear of invalid votes in the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections. Thousands of voters from this district will be taking part in Thursday's elections but many are still unaware about the voting process.
Not just the voters in rural areas but the voters at district headquarters too are in confusion regarding the voting process. Ambika Yadav of Lahan-4 has no idea how she is going to cast her ballot in Thursday's election. "I have heard that we will be provided with three ballot papers and we are supposed to put three stamps. But nobody told us where we should put those stamps," she said.
Candidates came to our houses seeking votes but they didn't teach us how to vote.
– Shuva Narayan Saday of Golbazar Municipality
Similarly, Sunila Kumari Yadav of Arnama Rural Municipality does not even know how many ballot papers will be there in the elections.
"There is just a day left for the polls but no one has yet taught us about the voting procedure," she said. At least she is aware that both parliamentary and provincial elections will be conducted simultaneously on Thursday. Many of them don't even know how many candidates have been fielded and from which party.
Shuva Narayan Saday of Golbazar Municipality, Balkawa remembers that he will have to go to cast votes on December 7. But no election officer has reached his home to teach him how to vote for the candidate of his choice. "Candidates came to our houses seeking votes but they didn't teach us how to vote," Saday said.
Despite being deprived of the voters' education, Samundri Devi Malik of Bhagwanpur Rural Municipality-3, Naraha is eagerly waiting to be a part of the elections.
There are altogether 436 polling centers in the district. Even though the Election
Commission (EC) had assigned 436 election officers for the district, voter education could not be as effective as expected. Most of the voters especially in the rural parts of the country lament that they have not received voters' education.
The main purpose of voters' education is to make the voters aware about their rights and responsibilities, the process of voting, rules and codes of elections among others. They are also supposed to encourage the voters to take part in the elections. Despite pouring millions of rupees, the EC has failed to educate all the voters. However, election officer Indira Yadav claims that voters' education was conducted in all parts of the district.