Lok Sabha polls: EC releases voter turnout data; most regions see dip | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Lok Sabha polls: EC releases voter turnout data; most regions see dip

May 01, 2024 07:53 AM IST

EC released disaggregated voter turnout data, which showed that 84% of parliamentary constituencies saw declines of varying magnitude in turnout figures

Eleven days after the end of the first phase of the general elections, and four days since the second phase, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday officially released disaggregated voter turnout data which showed that 84% of parliamentary constituencies saw declines of varying magnitude in turnout figures.

Phase 1 saw a voter turnout of 66.14% while the voter turnout was 66.71% in Phase 2, according to the ECI data released on Tuesday. (ANI)
Phase 1 saw a voter turnout of 66.14% while the voter turnout was 66.71% in Phase 2, according to the ECI data released on Tuesday. (ANI)

Phase 1 saw a voter turnout of 66.14% while the voter turnout was 66.71% in Phase 2, according to the ECI data released on Tuesday. HT had reported the phase-wise voter turnout figures on Monday.

In 2019, the corresponding figures for the seats in these respective phases were 69.4% and 69.6%.

The poll body specified on Tuesday that the final turnout will only be available after postal ballots are added to the total vote count.

The numbers mean that of the 166.3 million people who were eligible to vote in Phase 1 across 102 constituencies, about 110 million people voted, while of the 158.8 million people who were eligible to vote across 88 constituencies in Phase 2, about 106 million people voted.

The data showed that of the 176 seats for which a turnout comparison is possible with the 2019 Lok Sabha elections (the rest have undergone delimitation), varying degrees of decline was noted in 148.

Read more: Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Diamond rings, laptops and…: Bhopal launches lucky draw to increase voter turnout

A comparison is not possible for 12 constituencies (10 in Assam and two in Jammu and Kashmir) as their boundaries were redrawn after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. A comparison of Outer Manipur PC is not possible because it went to polls partially in both phases.

In terms of states and Union territories, of the 19 states and UTs that voted in the first phase where a comparison with 2019 is possible, 16 saw a decline, while turnout fell in eight of the 11 provinces in the second phase.

To be sure, a small decrease in turnout can possibly be compensated when postal ballots are counted, which is already factored in the 2019 turnout data but not in the 2024 numbers.

However, of the 148 constituencies where Tuesday’s figures lagged those in 2019, 124 registered a decline of more than two percentage points.

Of these 124 seats, 57 registered a turnout decline of more than five percentage points and seven of more than 10 percentage points.

Read more: Lok Sabha polls: Karnataka sees increase in voting as rest of India sees a dip

The seven seats with the biggest decline in turnout are: Nagaland (25.2 percentage points decline compared to 2019); Sidhi in Madhya Pradesh (13 percentage points); Mathura in Uttar Pradesh (11.6 percentage points); Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh (11.31 percentage points), Rewa in Madhya Pradesh (10.9 percentage points); Pathanamthitta in Kerala (10.9 percentage points); and Shahdhol in Madhya Pradesh (10.1 percentage points), according to data analysed by HT.

“PC [parliamentary constituency] and AC [assembly constituency] wise data is also updated regularly on the voter turnout app as updated in IT system by Returning Officers through Form 17C. Copy of Form 17C are also provided for every Polling Station in a Constituency to all candidates though their polling agents. Actual data of Form 17 C shall prevail which is already shared with candidates. Final turnout will only be available post-counting with counting of postal ballots and its addition to total vote count,” the poll body said in its press release.

On comparing the voter turnout for phase I as of 9 pm on April 19, released by the EC to media, to the VTR figures released on April 30, a difference of 3.77 percentage points is visible. The April 19 data supplied by EC said there was a turnout of 62.37% while the April 30 data said 66.14%. Three states saw their voter turnout increase by more than 10 percentage points --- Lakshadweep saw its VTR increase by 25.14 percentage points from 59.02% to 84.16%; Arunachal Pradesh's VTR increased by 10.53 percentage points from 67.15% to 77.68%; and Sikkim's increased by 10.41 percentage points from 69.47% to 79.88%. Maharashtra too saw an increase of 8.36 percentage points from 55.35% to 63.71. To be sure, some of the increased VTRs had been updated on the ECI's Voter Turnout app and were visible on April 21 as well.

For phase 2, a similar comparison is not possible as the EC did not provide VTRs throughout the polling day on April 26 to the media and instead directed journalists to the app. According to the data on the app accessed by HT on April 28 at around 7 pm, the reported VTR did not change between April 28 and April 30 for any state except Manipur where it increased by 2.95 percentage points from 81.9% to 84.85%.

In the first round of voting, 66.22% of male voters exercised their right to vote, while 66.07% of female voters cast their ballot. 31.32% of eligible voters from the third gender voted, the data showed.

In the second phase, 66.99% eligible male voters cast their ballots, while this figure was 66.42% for female voters. Around 24% of third gender voters showed up to vote.

ECI, however, did not release data about first-time voters or also data about people above the age of 85 years, and people with disabilities – the two categories eligible for home voting.

The poll body, also, did not specify the number of the eligible voters in each constituency, making it harder to determine whether the absolute number of voters increased or decreased compared to 2019 in different constituencies, and what are the factors that could have caused it.

HT's analysis on Monday showed that of the 11 states and union territories, where all constituencies went to polls within a single phase, Meghalaya is the only state that that recorded an increase in both the voter turnout and the absolute number of voters. In Kerala, Nagaland, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mizoram and Uttarakhand, the voter turnout and the absolute number of voters both fell, while in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu, even though the voter turnout fell, the absolute number of voters increased due to an increase in the number of eligible voters.

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