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70 lakh voters in district, all eyes on turnout today

There are 17,514 Electronic Voting Machines in operation and nearly 45,000 polling staff deployed at these centres.

By: Express News Service | Pune | October 15, 2014 3:33:17 am

Aiming at improving voter turnout the administration in Pune district, having registered the highest number of voters in the state at 69.27 lakh voters, has urged all voters to exercise their franchise. In their appeal, they said there was a need to improve the turnout from the 2009 Assembly elections (45.98 per cent) and the Lok Sabha elections (57.42 per cent) held earlier this year.

On Wednesday, nearly 70 lakh voters will be able to vote for 308 candidates in 21 Assembly constituencies in the district at 7,475 polling stations. There are 17,514 Electronic Voting Machines in operation and nearly 45,000 polling staff deployed at these centres. There would be 15,000 police personnel for security.

With the Election Commission setting a target of 75 per cent, the administration that has been extensively conducting programmes to reach out to voters is hoping to cross 60 per cent turnout. A voter registration drive conducted post the Lok Sabha elections was a huge success. Those who could not vote during Lok Sabha elections were asked to register and according to the authorities, there are no complaints regarding “missing names” this time.

With voter slip distribution getting a good response, with nearly 70 per cent slips collected in the city and rural areas, election officials hope the polling percentage will be good. “Our 24X7 voters grievance cell is operational and fortunately we have not received any complaint of a person unable to find name in the voter list. If there has been any problem we have a search facility in our website too and our machinery is helping persons get serial and part number which enables the person to find the polling station,” said district election officer and Pune district collector Saurabh Rao.

Those who could not collect the voter slips will get them at polling centres and those who were unable to find their names in the list can reach polling stations and get the slips from officials at booths. The administration has said polling centres will be the same as it was during the Lok Sabha elections.

On Tuesday, EVMs were sent to constituencies and officials were keeping track of EVMs reaching the strongrooms. The staff too have reached polling centres. “The staff have reached with EVMs at polling centres. With the women staff given polling station close to their houses, they are also given permission to go back home in the night and report early in the morning,’’ said deputy election officer Samiksha Chandrakar Gokule.

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