Phase-4 voter turnout climbs over 67%, EC dismayed at poor urban participation

The poll panel expressed dismay at the poor voter turnout in metro cities and described it as urban and youth apathy towards elections.

ByPTI

Published May 14, 2024 | 9:46 AMUpdatedMay 14, 2024 | 12:34 PM

Officials returning with polling materials. The ECI said voter turnout figures will continue to be updated by field-level officers as polling parties keep returning.

Voting picked up in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha polls held on Monday, 13 May, compared to the previous phases, according to the latest voter turnout, approximate trends, shared by the Election Commission (EC).

The voter turnout was 67.25 percent at 11:45 pm.

The turnout is 1.74 percentage points higher than the corresponding phase in the 2019 parliamentary polls.

The EC said the field-level officers will continue updating the figures as polling parties return.

As many as 96 seats went to polls in the fourth phase of the seven-phase election. After the latest phase, polling has been completed in 379 seats across 23 states and Union territories.

Also Read: Violence mars polling in Andhra Pradesh; voting largely peaceful in Telangana

Assembly polls completed in 3 states

Polling has also been completed in the Assembly elections of Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the turnout recorded in the fourth phase was 65.51 percent. Polling was then held in 71 seats across nine states.

In the first phase of the ongoing general election, a 66.14-percent turnout was recorded. In the 2019 polls, the turnout in the first phase was 69.43 percent.

In the second phase of the election held on 26 April, the turnout was recorded at 66.71 percent as against the 69.64 percent in the second phase of the 2019 polls.

The updated voter turnout figures for the third phase of polling in the Lok Sabha election stood at 65.68 percent. In the third phase of the 2019 general election, the turnout was 68.4 percent.

The poll panel said according to the laid-down procedure, a scrutiny of election papers takes place a day after polling in the presence of candidates or their authorised polling agents.

Also Read: BJP MP candidates heckle Muslim women voters, officials inside polling booth

EC blames heatwave for voter apathy

The decision to conduct re-poll, if any, is also taken thereafter. Some polling parties return after the polling day, depending on the geographical or logistical conditions.

“The commission will also, after the scrutiny and depending on the number/schedule of re-poll, publish the updated voter turnout along with gender-wise breakup by May 17,” the EC said.

The voter apathy towards turning up at polling stations has largely been blamed on the heatwave conditions.

The EC has been making efforts to ensure voter registration and a higher voter participation.

It has described its efforts as “from roll to poll”.

The poll panel had expressed dismay at the poor voter turnout in metro cities and described it as urban and youth apathy towards elections.

Since registration as a voter and casting votes is not mandatory under law, the EC has said it functions in a “persuasive space” to motivate people to enroll themselves as voters.

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