The cooler evening hour saw higher voter turnout in Bangalore

The decision to extend poll timing by one hour in the polls to the Legislative Assembly on Sunday seems to have had a huge impact on the total voter turnout across the State, including 28 constituencies in Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) areas and Bangalore Urban district.

The final poll percentage for 28 constituencies, which stood at 57.38 per cent on Sunday, has seen a dramatic increase by 11.57 per cent over the 2009 Lok Sabha elections and 7.51 per cent over the 2008 Assembly elections. Despite this big increase, Bangalore Urban and BBMP areas, stuck to its previous record of having the lowest voter turnout in the State.

Mellow evening

“The last hour voting was very good and the final voter turnout has been very satisfactory. Bangalore has shown significant improvement,” an elated Anil Kumar Jha, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) told presspersons here on Monday evening. “Voters in Bangalore have shown interest (in elections) and we are very happy,” he added. Mr. Jha attributed higher voting percentage in the evening to the mellower time of a scorching summer day.

A compilation on voter turnout by the office of the CEO reveals that constituencies that had very low voter turnout till about 4 p.m. recorded a good increase at the end of polling at 6 p.m.

This was especially glaring in some constituencies such as Padmanabhanagar where Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok is seeking re-election and Sarvajnanagar that reported voter turnout less than 40 per cent by 4 p.m. At the end of polling, Padmanabhanagar and Sarvajnanagar reported voter turnout of 58.38 per cent and 50.23 per cent, respectively. “As much as 10 to 12 per cent voting in the last one hour is not very unusual,” Mr. Jha clarified.

However, the last hour boost was not sufficient for Sarvajnanagar as it ended recording the lowest voter turnout in the city, followed by Bangalore South at 52.38 per cent.

More women vote

Bangalore Urban was among the three districts in the State to have recorded higher voting by women. The male-female voting ratio stood at 57.21:57.58. “More women have voted in this elections and their voting percentage is very good,” Mr. Jha said. Udupi and Bidar districts are the other two districts where female voter turnout was higher than that of the male. While Bidar’s male-female voting ratio was 66.12:66.78, the voting ratio in Udupi district was 74.7:76.9.

8 cross 60 per cent

Only eight constituencies of the 28 managed to record more than 60 per cent voter turnout. Anekal (SC) Assembly constituency reported the highest turnout with 68.74 per cent. It was followed by Yelahanka (66.71 p.c.), Yeshwanthpur (66.11 p.c.), Byatarayanapura (62.92 p.c.), Malleswaram (62.21 p.c.), Mahadevapura (61.57 p.c.), Rajajinagar (61.03 p.c.) and Mahalaksmi Layout (60.14 p.c.) One of the reasons for increasing voter turnout in the city, Mr. Jha said, was that new voters were added to the rolls between December 2012 and April 2013. A BBMP press release said that seven lakh new voters had been added while about 13 lakh ineligible voters had been dropped during the exercise.

“We think that there were serious voters, who wanted to vote. Besides voter awareness campaign with students, residents’ welfare association and in media, among others, also helped,” he added.