Kerala: The 93-year-old man votes well, while his feeble wife does not

On Monday, seniors over 85 started using their right to vote from home. Nevertheless, as one old couple’s home demonstrated, the law that spares the elderly from making the arduous trek to the polls this summer ended up being a pain for some others.

The 93-year-old T O Philip’s name was noted by the officials tasked with gathering information on elderly residents when they arrived at Thottumkalparambil in Nadukkandam, close to Kolani, in Thodupuzha.

But since she was far younger than the cutoff age, his sick wife was unable to cast a ballot from the comfort of her home.

“At ninety-three, my father is in good health. That isn’t the case with my mother, however,” explains retired educator Jini Joy.

In addition to being frail, my mother suffers from asthma. She spends much of her time in bed. It will thus be difficult for her to visit the polls and cast her ballot. It would have been extremely helpful if the election authorities had included those with health difficulties to the list, the woman claims.

With the exception of the previously mentioned problem, the family found the whole procedure to be novel and thrilling. For us, it was a very special event. For the procedure, the whole team of officials—including the police, presiding officer, and support personnel—arrived at our house. Then they arranged a similar cubicle on our dining table for a voting booth. They used the permanent ink to mark my father’s finger, and then he was handed the paper ballot. They handed him an envelope after he signed the ballot. He was instructed to insert the ballot and close it. He did all of this, she claims.

She praised the poll workers for their speed throughout the whole process, saying that they visited about five additional homes in their district.

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