Turnouts fall in Delhi, Gurgaon; could be the heat, holidays, says poll officialhttps://indianexpress.com/elections/delhi-gurgaon-voter-turnout-elections-2019-5724354/

Turnouts fall in Delhi, Gurgaon; could be the heat, holidays, says poll official

In 2014, around 65% turned out to vote in Delhi, with all seven constituencies polling above 61%. Chandni Chowk had polled the highest (67.87%), and North West Delhi the lowest (61.81%).

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At a polling booth in Chhatarpur in South Delhi Sunday. The constituency saw 57.3% voter turnout. (Express photo by Neeraj Priyadarshi)

Delhi recorded 60.12% turnout in the Lok Sabha polls held Sunday, a drop of five percentage points from the turnout in the 2014 elections. The Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency also saw a dip of roughly four percentage points from 71.58% in 2014 to 67.38% Sunday, according to Election Commission data compiled until 10 pm.

The turnout in the rest of Haryana also fell from 71.45% in 2014 to 68.63% until 10 pm. In Faridabad, voter turnout until 10 pm was 64.48%, virtually unchanged from the 64.98% in 2014.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Polling schedule, results date, constituency-wise election results, key candidates

Delhi is seeing a three-cornered fight among the BJP — which won all seven seats in 2014 — Congress and Aam Aadmi Party.

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Delhi Chief Electoral Officer Ranbir Singh said one possible reason for the low turnout this time could be the timing of the elections. “I was hopeful that the voter turnout would be higher than 2014, but that hasn’t happened. We will analyse why this was the case. One among the reasons could be that last time elections were held on April 10, whereas this year they were held on May 12. It was much hotter, and it’s possible that has affected turnout,” he said.

“This also happens to be the time when schools and colleges are on vacation, so many families go out of town for vacations. It also happened to be a Sunday, so people could have gone out of town for the weekend as well,” Singh said. Voting in 2014 was on a Thursday.

In 2014, around 65% turned out to vote in Delhi, with all seven constituencies polling above 61%. Chandni Chowk had polled the highest (67.87%), and North West Delhi the lowest (61.81%).

In 2009, the turnout was only 51.81% — 14 percentage points lower than in 2014. New Delhi saw the highest turnout (55.71%), which is lower than the lowest turnout this year. The lowest turnout in 2009 was in South Delhi, at 47.41%.

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Bachan Singh, the oldest voter in Delhi, arrives to cast his vote in Tilak Vihar in West Delhi constituency. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

Voting was slow in the capital at the start of the day, but picked up gradually. Reports of EVMs and VVPATs malfunctioning were reported from some areas, including Nirman Vihar, Matia Mahal, Chandni Chowk, Tilak Nagar and Malviya Nagar.

A total of 450 VVPATs, 61 control units and 77 ballot units were replaced during polling.

However, Singh said this was lower than at the time of the mock polls.

“At the time of mock polls, the defect was less than 1% each for ballot units and control units, and for VVPAT it was about 5.5%. During the polls it was about 3% for VVPATs, and 0.2% each for both. It wasn’t anything unusual.”

Amit Khatri, Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon, said: “The entire election has been peaceful in Gurgaon. Some minor, local issues that emerge in routine during every election were addressed timely, and polling was not held up for a long time anywhere.”