Today, I went to the polls, as this was the first time I was casting my vote; my experience was not very good. I was really excited at the prospect. As soon as my mother, my sister and I entered the school building where we were supposed to cast out votes, I heard a babble of voices. It was overcrowded, the place was congested, and it perplexed me. My mother told me in her time, there used to be a queue and people were called individually to cast their votes. Here, it was a mess, I must say. Firstly, when we entered the specific room we were told to go, there was a girl sitting at a table, where she had some papers, an ink pad, and a black marker. She took the chits we had, asked my mum to press her thumb into the ink-pad, made her stamp it on the back of the chit and then she quickly grabbed my mother's thumb, and made a line with the black marker. She then said "Your vote has been given." My mother was shocked at her statement, and asked for whom her vote was cast! She added how the girl could do this? The girl just ignored her. Well, we knew this was wrong.

My mother who is an educated woman, felt furious at such treatment, she asked a man standing there to explain to her why this had happened. We were told to take our case to another person. Finally, we were able to cast our vote. I saw some people there, who were actually under the impression that they were being watched. My question is why should the innocent people be taken for a ride and made fools of? Why is this? I also heard a lot of my friends complaining that they had witnessed violence at some polling stations. Voting means it’s our right, to vote for whosoever we choose! Then why do we have to face situations like this? I hope change comes to our country and I hope that the bad situation in Karachi gets better so that we can live peacefully and in harmony.

SHOMAILA AKBAR,

Karachi, May 11.