An all-out effort is being made by the election authorities to ensure that maximum people, particularly the younger generation and first-time voters apart from women and senior citizens, participate in the elections to the three Lok Sabha constituencies in the city —Bangalore North, Bangalore Central and Bangalore South.
The three constituencies have recorded one of the highest number of voters, a little over 63 lakh. In terms of electors-to-population ratio, while the national average is 68 per cent, the figure in Bangalore is over 70 per cent.
Efforts have been made to prompt employees of the IT sector and women to vote since statistics indicated that they largely stayed away during previous elections.
A matter of striking importance this time is that the polling day (declared a holiday to enable people to vote) is followed by Good Friday (also a holiday), which means people can look forward to a long weekend.
Distribution of voter identity slips is in progress. Arrangements have been made to ensure that those who do not receive the slips can get them at the polling station. Each of the 7,712 polling stations in the three constituencies will have a facilitator who is equipped with a computer to browse through the voters’ list and provide the slip.
As the onset of summer has resulted in a rise in temperature, K.R. Niranjan, Special Commissioner (Elections), Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, has directed that drinking water be made available in all polling stations. Further, stress has also been laid on availability of toilets for the use of polling personnel and voters. Ramps will be provided at all stations, barring five which are situated on the first floor. In such stations, disabled persons will be physically carried upstairs. If sought, transport facility will also be made available to voters.
Bangalore South constituency will have an added feature. Citizens can check whether their vote has been registered correctly thanks to Voter Verification Print Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines, which are being used on trial basis only. Each of the 1,926 polling stations in the constituency will have a VVPAT machine. One person will monitor the functioning of the machine, which is an attempt to instil confidence among voters in the Electronic Voting Machines.