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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Nearly Half Of Bengaluru Voters Skip Voting In Phase 2 Of Lok Sabha Polls

Nearly half of Bengaluru’s voters did not turn up to vote in the Lok Sabha elections on Friday.

Voting took place in 14 constituencies in Karnataka, with the Election Commission estimating the turnout at 69.23 per cent.

However, the percentage of voters who exercised their franchise in three urban constituencies in the city — Bangalore Central, Bangalore North and Bangalore South — was significantly lower.

The approximate voter turnout in Bangalore Central was 52.81 per cent, Bangalore North – 54.42 per cent and Bangalore South – 53.15 per cent.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the turnout in Bengaluru Central was 54.32 per cent, Bengaluru North – 54.76 per cent and Bengaluru South – 53.70 per cent.

Election Commission officials were disappointed due to the turnout despite their vigorous efforts to increase participation.

“There is no explanation for it. That is the truth,” a top EC official said.

According to poll officials, scorching summer heat is said to be one of the reasons for the people not turning up at polling booths in the city.

However, Bangalore Rural saw an approximate voter turnout of 67.29 per cent.

Mandya and Kolar had a turnout of 81.48 per cent and 78.07 per cent, respectively.

The Election Commission in Karnataka came out with several initiatives to increase turnout in this election in urban constituencies — from encouraging the public to use various apps to putting QR codes on voter slips to locate polling booths.

Voter Helpline, ‘Know Your Candidate’ and updating details about number of voters in queue and kind of parking facilities available at polling booths, especially in Bengaluru, and an elaborate booth election management plan were among the other measures taken.

The EC had also come up with better facilities at the polling stations in the urban constituencies based on the feedback they received following a survey conducted by the Election Commission in the areas which registered low voter turnout in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election and the previous Lok Sabha elections. 

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