Yesterday was election day for this part of Uttar Pradesh and a few other states in India. Our neighbors, Shail & Mini, invited me to come along to the local polling station to check out the voting process. The station was in the small village behind ATS. Security was provided by local and state police (including several commandos)... they wouldn't let me take any photos near the polling station. It was all much more sophisticated than I expected. Citizens check in to vote with a picture ID (Shail actually confirmed his name and voter registration online prior to voting). Once you are confirmed as an eligible voter, you get in a queue and proceed to the electronic voting machine.
Once you have voted, your index finger is marked with permanent ink - everyone displays this finger with a bit of pride as proof of their participation in the election... This year the "in" thing to do was have your middle finger marked - especially celebrities - giving a polite excuse to flash "the finger" at reporters with a wink and a grin. There where no reports of disturbance or violence in our area during these elections.