Supplementing the discussion in the last blog, the table below gives the sizes of booths in 6 cities. In a booth with more than 5,500 if more than 20% of the voters cast votes in 11 hours, that is a matter of concern – not poor turnout.
Feature of EVM technically puts a limit of five votes per minute. This could be achieved in a simulation, without any gap between two voters and achieve 3,300 votes in the 11 hours duration of voting. Thus even in a simulated run, not all the voters in a booth can vote. Being illogically optimistic, if we consider a gap of 3 seconds between two voters through the day, then we have 4 voters per minute, which allows 2,640 voters to cast votes during the day.
However, ECI guideline of maximum 1,200 voters per booth is pragmatic. In the sets of samples, 36% of booths in Delhi, 32% in Chennai, 26% in Bangalore, 16% in Mumbai and 1.4% in Kolkata have more than 1,200 voters. This will certainly reduce the voter turnout, by design and not due to voter apathy as pronounced by armchair experts and authorities. We should be alarmed if we find a high voter turnout in large booths.
When ECI cares much for the lone voter in a forest, provisions in several populated areas are grossly inadequate to allow citizens to vote.
Bad electoral management can turn voters out and complain about poor voter turnout.