EC officials hope for 72 per cent polling in Karnataka

As per data available with TNIE, the 2019 polling percentage of 68.81 is the highest ever in Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.
Election officals check EVMs at a poll material collection centre in Bengaluru on Thursday
Election officals check EVMs at a poll material collection centre in Bengaluru on Thursday (Photo | Allen Egenuse J)

BENGALURU: In the last 17 Lok Sabha elections, including those held when Karnataka was Mysore state, Karnataka never touched 70 per cent polling. Now, with 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state to polls on Friday, Election Commission officials are hoping that polling will reach 72 per cent.

This time, there are 58,834 polling stations in Karnataka. As per data available with TNIE, the 2019 polling percentage of 68.81 is the highest ever in Lok Sabha polls in the state. Chief Electoral Officer, Karnataka, Manoj Kumar Meena told TNIE that they are hoping that voting touches 72 per cent this time.

Meena said officials had identified polling stations that witness low polling, compared to the constituency average. “Our officials, including revenue inspectors and others, visited these places and interacted with voters. They tried to understand why the number of voters is low, and found that there are no facilities or people have voter card issues and many others. Our officials have tried to rectify it, and we hope to get more people to cast their votes,” he said.

In Bengaluru, a large number of voters stay in apartments, small and big. It is a challenge to reach voter slips to these people. Also, with voting on a Friday, people tend to travel in spite of messages being circulated and awareness programmes held. Bengaluru has clocked an average of 50-54 polling percentage.

“We have identified 2,000 polling stations in Bengaluru alone, where polling per cent is lower than the constituency. We are hoping to push up Bengaluru’s average polling percentage to 60, thus increasing the overall per cent of the state,” Meena said.

Ever since the General Assembly began in 1951, Mysuru/ Karnataka has seen 17 polls, five were held when it was Mysuru state.

In the polls held from 1951 to 1971, Mysuru witnessed 62.95 polling per cent in 1967, which was the highest, whereas post renaming, Karnataka’s highest polling percentage was 68.81 in 2019.

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