BHUBANESWAR: Odisha recorded a total 73.76 per cent voter turnout in first phase General Elections held across four Lok Sabha and 28 Assembly constituencies on Thursday. The figure is, however, marginally lower than the 2014 polls when the voter turnout in these constituencies was 74.67 per cent.
Informing media persons about the turnout, Chief Electoral Officer Surenda Kumar said women voters outnumbered men in terms of polling in the first phase as their vote share at 74.43 per cent is higher than men at 73.09 per cent. The total number of voters in Phase 1 was 60,03,707, including 29,72,925 men and 30,30,222 women besides 560 transgenders in Kalahandi, Nabarangpur, Makangiri and Berhampur Lok Sabha constituencies and their Assembly segments.
Kumar said in terms of polling Nabarangpur registered highest voter turnout of 78.89 pc followed by Kalahandi 75.82 pc, Koraput 74.77 pc and Berhampur 65.57 pc.In the Assembly segments, Kotpad witnessed the highest voting percentage of 86.83 while Berhampur recorded the lowest at 56.34 pc. The fate of 26 Lok Sabha and 191 Assembly candidates were sealed in the first phase.
Thanking all polling parties and security personnel for ensuring peaceful elections in the Maoist-hit belt, Kumar said, “My special thanks to those polling personnel who were on poll duty at polling stations located in remote areas and covered miles on foot to return to their base camp.”
Polling time was 7 am to 4 pm in 20 out of 28 Assembly segments affected by LWE activities, however voting in some of these stations continued even after 6 pm to ensure that all present during the closing time get to exercise their franchise, he added.
While no votes were polled in at least 15 booths in Maoist-hit Chitrakonda Assembly segment despite heavy security arrangements, the CEO said he has recommended Election Commission for re-polling in two booths - Malkangiri and Berhampur.