Puducherry Assembly Elections 2016

Brisk voting in Union Territory

Voters casting their vote at a candle lit polling booth at Lawspet in Puducherry on Monday. Photo: S.S. Kumar  

Elections to the 30-member Legislative Assembly in the Union Territory began on a brisk note with people turning out in large numbers to cast their votes despite rains and power outages.

Long queues were seen in most of the booths, including urban and rural areas in Puducherry since morning. Differently-abled and elderly persons were helped by student volunteers to exercise their franchise in several polling booths. The poll percentage saw a steady increase since morning.

The percentage, which was around 15.44 at 10 a.m., went up to 32.16 at 12 p.m. The turnout reached 84.11 per cent by the end of the day. The same trend was witnessed in the outlying regions such as Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam.

VVPAT machines

For the first time, Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used in Uppalam, Orleanpet in Puducherry and Karaikal (south) in the Union Territory.

Rural constituencies like Embalam, Bahour, Mangalam and Oussudu saw brisk polling. As per tentative figures, Embalam recorded 77.18 per cent at 4.00 pm. followed by Bahour with 76.79 and Mangalam with 76.17.

The turnout of women was comparatively large in rural areas compared to the urban areas. Polling continued at a majority of the booths even after the deadline at 6 p.m. and the voters were issued tokens by the presiding officers due to a large turnout.

The Real Time Poll Monitoring System (RTPMS) was put in place and voting was monitored every minute through webcasting technology.

Power outage

Polling was interrupted for a short duration in seven polling stations in Nettapakkam and six polling stations in Maducarai due to power outages following heavy rains. Emergency lights were sourced and polling continued in both the polling stations.

Polling in 148 sensitive locations across the UT was also by and large peaceful.

The maximum voting percentage was recorded in the rural Assembly segment of Oussudu, where almost 90 per cent of the people exercised their franchise, while the minimum percentage was in the enclave of Mahe, where only 75.25 per cent voted. The turnout was higher than the last elections in 2011 when the UT recorded 85.52 per cent.

Addressing reporters, Chief Electoral Officer V. Candavelou said that the polling was by and large peaceful barring minor incidents in the UT. Polling which began on a brisk note by 7 a.m. saw a lull after a few hours due to rains in the afternoon.

Mr. Candavelou said that political parties had made a representation to the Election Commission to extend the time to vote following rains and power outages in Puducherry. However, there was no change in timings and people who manage to reach the polling station before 6 p.m. will be given a token and allowed to vote.

A booth level officer posted in a polling booth in Kalapet Assembly constituency was removed from election duty following representation from political parties that he was posted in the same polling station.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 11:51:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/puducherry2016/Brisk-voting-in-Union-Territory/article14324525.ece

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