Bihar’s Provisional Voter Turnout For First Phase At 53.54%, Slightly Lower Than 2015
A voter gets her finger marked with indelible ink at a polling station. (Source: PTI)

Bihar’s Provisional Voter Turnout For First Phase At 53.54%, Slightly Lower Than 2015

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The Covid-19 pandemic did not have much impact on the voter turnout in the first phase of Bihar assembly polls as an estimated 53.54% exercised their franchise, according to provisional figures.

This is the first major election being conducted amid the raging coronavirus pandemic in the country. The 2020 poll percentage is likely to go up as the Election Commission is updating the data with more inputs from 71 constituencies spread across 16 districts.

The turnout figure in the first phase is slightly lower than the 54.75% seen in 2015 in the same districts, the election commission said.

According to the provisional data, the highest poll percentage was recorded in Banka district at 59.57%. It had recorded 56.43% turnout in 2015 polls. Munger district has registered the least voter turnout at 47.36%. It had recorded 52.24% turnout in 2015.

Out of the 71 constituencies, 35 are in areas affected by Naxals where the polling hour was curtailed.

Polling was conducted till 3 p.m. in four Naxal-affected constituencies of Chainpur, Nabinagar, Kutumba and Rafiganj while in the other five Naxal-hit constituencies it went up to 5 p.m. In the remaining 26 Naxal-affected constituencies, polling was held till 4 p.m.

The poll panel said that since the announcement of the elections, 534 arms, 193 cartridges and three bombs were seized from the areas that went to polls in the first phase. As many as 159 people were detained as a preventive measure during the polling on Wednesday, the poll panel said.

The poll panel had set up 119 model polling stations and deployed 1,708 video cameras.

Of the nearly 2.15 crore voters eligible to exercise their franchise, 1.12 crore are male, 1.01 crore are female and 599 are categorised as “third gender”, according to data provided by the Election Commission.

Over 31,000 polling stations were set up for the first phase and as many Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail machines were be used.

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