Telangana witnesses historic step: 180 ‘thematic polling stations’ to dot 15 Hyderabad constituencies

These include 75 model, 75 women-managed, 15 persons with disabilities (PWD)-managed, and 15 youth-run polling stations.

ByAjay Tomar

Published Nov 29, 2023 | 10:09 PMUpdated Nov 29, 2023 | 10:11 PM

Telangana witnesses historic step: 180 ‘thematic polling stations’ to dot 15 Hyderabad constituencies

The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Wednesday, 29 November, announced 180 thematic polling stations across 15 constituencies in Hyderabad in an attempt to attract voters for the 30 November Telangana Assembly elections.

All of these constituencies will have five model polling stations — 75 in total, a first in the history of Telangana.

Apart from this, there will be 75 polling stations managed exclusively by women, 15 supervised by persons with disabilities (PWDs), and 15 run by youngsters — all said to be first-time voters.

Theme-based polling stations were last set up in May’s Karnataka Assembly elections to tackle poor voter turnout.

Interview: GHMC chief details move to put full family in single polling booth

A step to encourage voters

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner and Hyderabad District Election Officer D Ronald Rose noted that the aim of setting up the thematic polling stations was to motivate voters from those sections to participate in the elections.

He added that in the polling stations where women are in charge, every staff member, starting from the booth level officer, would be female. Specific amenities would additionally be offered to female voters at these stations.

Reports suggest that, in these elections, a concession has been granted to women polling officers that will allow them to return home instead of spending the previous night at their designated polling stations.

The decision was taken after considering the many women-unfriendly polling stations in the city, characterised by small, cramped rooms and non-functional toilets. Nearly 50 percent of voters from Hyderabad this time are women, with a strength of 21.62 lakh.

Similarly, the PWD polling stations would be entirely supervised by four to five individuals who are differently-abled.

Special facilities designed to accommodate the needs of officers and staff with disabilities would be available at these polling stations, Rose said.

As per the GHMC, the polling stations managed by young individuals would be exclusively operated by first-time voters, with an average staff age of approximately 23 years.

The initiative is said to be taken because young voters make up nearly 30 percent of the total voters in the state.

In another initiative, artwork at the polling stations, which will be based on local culture, will create awareness among voters.

Also read: How Telangana voters are responding to poll guarantees

Voters stats

As per the ECI, Telangana has over 3.26 crore voters. For the very first time, eligible women voters — at 1.63 crore — outnumber male voters, at 1.62 crore, for the Assembly elections. A total of 2,676 transgender persons are also voters in the state.

Over 9.99 lakh youngsters (aged 18 and 19) will also cast their vote for the first time. Among them are over 4.29 lakh girl voters, over 5.7 lakh boys, and 120 transgender persons.

Over 4.4 lakh voters are senior citizens aged above 80. Of them, over 2.5 lakh are women, over 1.89 lakh are men, and 12 are transgender persons.

Among the Non-Resident Indian (NRI) voters, there are a total of 2,944 people with 563 women, 2,380 men, and one trans person.

When it comes to PWDs, Telangana has over 5.06 lakh voters. This comprises over 2.16 lakh women, 2.9 lakh men, and 16 trans persons.