Polling booths increased by 63% due to COVID-19 restrictions: EC

more than 2.3 lakh migrant workers, who returned to the state, were included in the voter's list

New Delhi: Over 1.06 lakh polling booths were used in this year’s Bihar election, which is an increase of about 63 per cent compared to the number of booths in 2015 assembly polls, Election Commission said on Saturday, noting that the increase was necessitated due to precautionary measures against COVID-19.

Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) Chandra Bhushan Kumar said at a press conference here that polling took place at 1,06,515 booths in Bihar elections.

He said the number of polling officials also increased and more than five lakh officials were used of which 30 per cent were women employees. The polling for the third and final phase of elections concluded on Saturday.

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“Voting in the Bihar assembly elections that started on October 28 concluded today. This time due to COVID-19, the Election Commission had decided that the number of voters should not be more than 1000 at a polling booth. In 2015, in Bihar, there were 65,000 booths which increased to 1,06,515 booths in this election which is an increase of about 63 per cent,” he said.

Kumar said nearly 52,000 voters aged 80 years and above besides PWD (persons with disabilities) used postal ballots.

He said more than 2.3 lakh migrant workers, who returned to the state, were included in the voter’s list.

The EC official said 2,974 booths were managed by women employees and there were 1,003 model polling stations. There were 876 cases of violation of model code of conduct (MCC) and 156 cases for violation of COVID-19 norms.

Referring to the first two phases of election, he said 55.68 per cent voters had exercised their franchise in the first phase of election on October 28 including 56.83 per cent males and 54.41 per cent females.

The second phase of election on November 3 saw a greater percentage of women voters. While the overall polling percentage in this phase was 55.70, those of females was 58.80 per cent and males 52.92 per cent.

He said the final figure of third phase polling will come later after all votes have been accounted and added that the overall voting percentage will be respectable keeping in view COVID-19 situation.

The state had witnessed 56.66 per cent polling in 2015 polls.
Kumar said 53.62 per cent polling was recorded in bye-election to Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat till 5 pm.

Counting of votes will take place on November 10.

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