Uttar pradesh

U.P. voter turnout this time matching figures of 2017 polls

Voters queue up at a polling booth in Gorakhpur during the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on March 3, 2022

Voters queue up at a polling booth in Gorakhpur during the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on March 3, 2022 | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

Phase six of polling in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on Thursday in 57 constituencies saw a voter turnout of over 55%, compared to 56.52% for the same phase in 2017.

Conducting analyses based on the tentative data may be premature, as turnout was likely to go up. Polling was scheduled till 6 pm and and would include those who may have queued up to cast their votes at that time.

In fact, the voter turnout in the first five phases of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections was only around 0.3% lower than in 2017, much smaller than what initial reports on the days of polling suggested. Updated reports from the Election Commission have shown a similar picture this time compared to the turnout last time.

The level of voter participation has been of particular interest in this round of elections, considering the COVID-19-related restrictions on campaigning. In Punjab, the turnout was 71.95% compared to 77.40% in 2017; in Uttarakhand, it was 65.37% compared to 64.72% in 2017; and in Goa, the turnout was 78.94%, compared to 81.21% last time, suggesting nothing conclusive about enthusiasm. Polling in Manipur was yet to be completed.

The average turnout for the five phases this time was 62.092%, just below the average for the same phases in 2017 — 62.4%, according to data from the office of the U.P. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) for last time and the Election Commission’s Voter Turnout App for the ongoing polls. The final voter turnout figures for the ongoing elections are given to the polling agents in the Form 17-C after completion of polls. According to EC sources, the Voter Turnout app shows the turnout after it is entered by all Returning Officers and is usually complete by the morning, after end of polling. In some areas, like hilly terrain, it may take longer to arrive at a final turnout figure, the sources said.

Turnout in the first two phases, which started with the western part of the State and moved eastwards, was slightly lower than in 2017. In phase 1, where 58 constituencies went to the polls on February 10, turnout was 62.43% — a decline from 2017’s 63.47%. Phase 2, in which polling was held in 55 seats on February 14, also saw a similar decrease, from 65.53% in 2017 to 64.66%.

Phases three to five saw a slight increase in turnout. Phase 3 of polling on February 20, when 59 seats went to the polls, saw a slight increase in turnout this time (62.28%) from 2017 (62.21%). Phase 4 of polls in 59 seats on February 23 had a total turnout of 62.76%, a slight increase from 62.55% in 2017. Phase 5 of polling on February 27 with 61 constituencies had a turnout of 58.33%, compared to 58.24% last time.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 9:22:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/up-voter-turnout-this-time-matching-figures-of-2017-polls/article65187201.ece