With 67.11 voting percentage, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections witnessed the highest voter turnout since independence, according to the tentative data released by the Election Commission of India. The overall turnout in 2014 was at 66.40 per cent.
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, and Karnataka witnessed the highest ever voter turnout during the recent polls, since 1962.
As per a report released by the economic research department of the State Bank of India (SBI), on May 2, states like Assam, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh (till 4th phase), and Rajasthan (till 4th phase) witnessed a 3.3% increase in voter turnout this election.
Election Commission data reveals that 16 states and UTs witnessed a higher voting percentage than in 2014. Madhya Pradesh – with a jump of 9.59% – witnessed highest differential voter turnout.
However, voter turnout saw a uniform decline from the first phase to the seventh phase, except for the sixth phase and seventh phase when the voter turnout increased slightly.
The 2019 Lok Sabha election stands out when it comes to women voter turnout across India. In the first four phases, 68.3% turnout was recorded amongst men, as compared to 68% women going out to the voting booth, according to data released by the Election Commission.
In 2014 women turnout reached an all-time high with 65.63%, when compared to all prior Lok Sabha elections.
Moreover, at least nine states and Union Territories, including Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Uttarakhand, Goa, Mizoram and Lakshadweep, witnessed higher women turnout as compared to men.
How Accurate is the Overall Increase?
According to a Hyderabad-based technology company, names of about 12 crore voters are missing from the electoral rolls, which is about 11% of the total number of eligible voters, and therefore this higher voter turnout can be inaccurate.
Talking to Bloomberg Quint Jagdeep Chhokar, founder member of the Association for Democratic Reforms said, “the whole process of electoral roll is complex. We should be willing to accept a certain degree of omission and commission. But 12 crore is a huge number. Maybe there is something going on which is not known to people at large.”
Bangalore, which remained at the centre of this controversy, saw a steep decline in voter turnout during the election. In three constituencies in Banglore, the turn out was as less as 3-5% as compared to the 2014 election.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress president Dinesh Gundu Rao, in a tweet, said, “Did cast my vote with my family but a bit late in the day. Sadly, Bengaluru continues to vote in low percentages, though we make the maximum noise.”
Also Read: Mumbai: At 55.1%, Maximum City Sees Highest Voter Turnout Since 1989
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