Kerala Assembly polls | Polling falls by 3 percentage points


2021 Assembly election sees a voter turnout of 74.02% against 77.35% in the 2016 polls

Brisk polling marked the single-phase elections to the Kerala Assembly on Tuesday, with 74.02% of the 2.74 crore electorate exercising their franchise by evening, as per the latest available data. The final figures are expected on Wednesday.

The byelection for the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat, held simultaneously, registered a polling percentage of 74.53%. The State had registered a voter turnout of 77.35% in the Assembly polls in 2016.

10 FIRs filed

Stray incidents of clashes between Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Bharatiya Janata Party workers were reported from places such as Kattayikonam in the Kazhakuttam constituency. “Barring a few minor incidents, polling was by and large peaceful in the State with no complaints about the poll process,” election officials said in a statement. Ten FIRs have been filed by the police across the State “for minor offences”, they said.

The election was conducted in strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocol. COVID-19 patients and electors in quarantine voted in the final hour of polling. Among the voters who cast their votes wearing protective gear included Left Democratic Front candidate in Thodupuzha K.A. Antony, United Democratic Front candidate in Kochi Tony Chammany, and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s daughter Veena.

As per the latest updates, 150 ballot units, 150 control units, and 747 voter verifiable paper audit trail machines malfunctioned during the elections. Four ballot units, four control units, and 33 VVPAT machines used for the Malappuram bypoll also had to be replaced.

As part of the security arrangements, webcasts were arranged at 20,478 polling stations. As the number of polling stations had been increased to 40,771 to avoid crowding, 2.02 lakh polling personnel were deployed. This time, 140 companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) had been allotted to the State for beefing up security.

Polling ended at 7 p.m., except in nine north Kerala segments where it ended at 6 p.m. on account of the threat posed by Left wing extremist groups.

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