Monday, May 27, 2024

66.95% voter turnout in first four phases, says Election Commission

The Election Commission on Thursday released cumulative voter turnout data for the first four phases of the General Elections 2024.

It added that 45.1 crore of the nearly 97 crore voters have voted so far in the polls, PTI news agency reported.

The updated voter turnout in the fourth phase of polling held on May 13 was 69.16%. While for the third phase, the turnout was 65.68%, it was 66.71% in the second phase. The first phase recorded a 66.14% turnout.

The poll panel has so far not released the total number of voters in each constituency.

In a statement, the poll panel urged electorate to come out and vote in large numbers in the coming phases.

“The Commission strongly believes that partnership and collaboration are essential pillars of voter awareness programme. It’s really heartening to see that on Commission’s request, different institutions, influencers and celebrities having significant reach are working enthusiastically on pro-bono basis,” Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar said.

A total of 379 seats across 23 States and Union Territories have voted in the first four phases of elections.

The release of the data comes 5 days after four press bodies urged the Election Commission (EC) to resume its practice of holding press conferences after each phase of voting and to release all data related to a phase’s polling not longer than one day after polling finishes.

The letter dated Saturday (May 11) was addressed to the chief election commissioner and was signed by the presidents of the Press Club of India, the Indian Women’s Press Corps, the Press Association and the Foreign Correspondents’ Club.

They said they were “dismayed” that the EC hadn’t held a press conference on the general elections yet though three phases were already complete, adding that they were “shocked and surprised” that the commission hadn’t released the absolute number of people who had voted in each phase.

“Till 2019, the last general election, holding a press conference after voting in each phase was the normal practice,” the letter noted, adding that citizens of a democracy such as India had the right to know “what has happened on [voting] day” from the EC.

It also said that press conferences allow journalists to make clarifications and help them “report and write error-free copy for their readers”.

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