Even with 4 lakh additional voters, Madurai constituency registers almost 10 per cent less than 2009 polls

Despite having an electorate which has grown by four lakh voters since the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Madurai parliamentary constituency registered a polling percentage of 67.90 per cent which is almost 10 per cent less than the last elections, according to estimates available with officials.

In the 2009 elections, the Madurai constituency recorded an impressive polling percentage of 77.43 per cent. Barring a few incidents where altercations occurred between party cadres over canvassing for votes near the booths, the polling was by and large peaceful. Voters began queuing up in front of the polling booths in both the rural and urban centres from as early as 6.30 a.m. to avoid the hot sun and the crowds.

Election officials said mock polling began in most booths by 6 a.m. in anticipation of the crowd. A booth-level officer at Madurai Pillaimar Sangam High School polling station at Sammattipuram with 19 booths said there had been a steady stream of people from 7 a.m.

There was brisk polling in the morning. The constituency recorded a poll percentage of 49.33 per cent at 1 p.m. However, the number of voters began to dwindle after that and there were very few voters to be seen in the rural pockets such as Vadipatti after 2 p.m.

At 3 p.m., the poll percentage recorded was only 58.02 per cent and it increased to 65.38 per cent at 5 p.m.

A total of 9.77 lakh voters from the total electorate of 14.39 lakh had exercised their franchise. More women took part in the polling than men in the constituency. Nearly 4.91 lakh women cast their votes as against 4.86 lakh men. Interestingly, 24 transgenders cast their votes for the first time in a parliamentary election.

Technical snags with the electronic voting machines (EVMs) in a few polling stations, which included Ponmeni, Jaihindpuram, Shenoy Nagar, Vasantha Nagar and Maadakulam, led to a delay of one hour when polling started.