Monday, May 27, 2024

Almost half of Bengaluru’s electorate skips Lok Sabha elections

Bengaluru’s ongoing apathy towards voting remains unchanged. Despite extensive efforts by the Election Commission, nearly half of the voters in India’s Silicon Valley abstained from casting their ballots on Friday.

Voting occurred in 14 constituencies across Karnataka in the second phase, with the Election Commission recording a turnout of 69.23 percent. The voter turnout was
lower in three urban constituencies within Bangalore city: Bangalore Central, Bangalore North, and Bangalore South.

The approximate voter turnout in Bangalore Central was 52.81 per cent, Bangalore North – 54.42 per cent and Bangalore South – 53.15 per cent. In the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the turnout in Bengaluru Central was 54.32 per cent, Bengaluru North – 54.76 per cent and Bengaluru South – 53.70 per cent.

Election Commission officials said that they were disappointed that the voter apathy persisted despite their vigorous efforts to increase participation.

“There is no explanation for it. That is the truth,” a top EC official said. According to poll officials, scorching summer heat is said to be one of the reasons for the people not turning up at polling booths in the city.

However in Bangalore Rural, the voter turnout reached approximately 67.29 percent, while Mandya and Kolar boasted impressive turnouts of 81.48 percent and 78.07 percent, respectively.

To bolster participation in urban constituencies, the Karnataka Election Commission introduced several initiatives. These included promoting the use of various apps, incorporating QR codes on voter slips to facilitate polling booth location, and implementing services like the Voter Helpline and ‘Know Your Candidate.’ Additionally, efforts were made to provide real-time updates on voter queue lengths and available parking facilities, particularly in Bengaluru. An extensive booth election management plan was also devised.

The Election Commission also enhanced facilities at polling stations in urban areas based on feedback gathered from a survey conducted after the 2023 Karnataka Assembly election and previous Lok Sabha elections. This proactive approach aimed to address low voter turnout concerns effectively.

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