Around 2,500 to 3,000 polling booths are expected to be added to an existing 45,000 booths in Gujarat before the state assembly elections in 2017, official sources said Saturday.
“During the rationalisation process undertaken across Gujarat this year, we noticed that there were at least 450-500 polling booths, mostly in urban centres, where the number of voters were as high as 1,600. In the coming days, we are going to strictly enforce the norm which allows a maximum of 1,200 voters in each rural booth, and 1,400 voters per booth in urban areas,” said B B Swain, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Gujarat.
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“This process is expected to result in the setting up of 2,500 to 3,000 new booths across the state. However, we will simultaneously ensure that voters from a particular residential society or a colony are not divided,” the official added.
The scrutiny of the new polling booths are currently in progress and will be submitted to the Election Commission by the end of August.
The Election Commission had carried out a physical verification of existing and probable polling stations locations in the state to find out if voters have to cross rivers, canals or ravines to reach the polling booth. It is also meant to ascertain if voters are required to cover more than 2 km; if the polling booth is on the first floor or above; if the polling station is located in a police station, hospital, dharmshala or religious structure, or if the office of any political party is located within 200 meters of the polling booth.