Low voter turnout: Bloated list to blame?

Bengaluru: Anekal falling under Bengaluru Urban has recorded the highest poll percentage of 63.99 in the city, which is followed by Yelahanka at 63.01. Bommanahalli falling under Bengaluru South and T. Dasarahalli under Bangalore Urban recorded the lowest at 47.18 per cent and 47.99 per cent, respectively. Of the 28 Assembly constituencies in the city, elections were not held in Jayanagar and R.R. Nagar seats on Saturday.

The total voting percentage in Bengaluru was 54.29, which is a slight increase over 52.8 recorded in 2013. Male voter percentage was 54.26, female was 54.50 and other gender was 13.17.

Among the lowest was Byatarayanapura, which recorded 48.03 per cent followed by C.V. Raman Nagar with 48.98 percent. Even Vijayanagar constituency falling under Bengaluru South recorded 49.95 per cent. In rest of the constituencies, the voting percentage crossed 50.

Though the Election Commission and the BBMP held several campaigns to improve the voting percentage, voting in the city still remained lower than expected. In fact, before the election date was announced, political parties had petitioned the Election Commission to hold elections on a weekday to prevent people from leaving the city for holidays.

Mr Srinivas Alavilli, founder-member of Citizens for Bengaluru, who felt that voting numbers being reported do not look quite right, had created a poll on CfB’s Facebook page.

Mr Alavilli said that he is part of many WhatsApp groups and all the members said that they had voted. Apartment associations and several other groups too had reported that they had voted in good numbers. On its informal Facebook poll, nearly 150 people had said that "more than 50 percent of people they knew had voted".

“I feel there are flaws in the voter list of 90 lakh voters. More than 45 lakh people cast their votes on Saturday, which is 10 lakh more than the votes cast in 2013. The problem with the voter list is duplicates, invalid IDs, dead voters, voters having cards in multiple places, and so on. I feel the baseline could be wrong and the real voting percentage could be between 60 and 70 per cent," he said.

Urban expert R.K. Misra took to Twitter and said, "With 50 percent polling in Bengaluru, I am not sure if the low voting percentage is due to erroneous electoral rolls or the laziness of voters."

To overcome this in the future, Mr Misra suggested Aadhar-based voter ID/voting to ensure that genuine voters get to vote and ghost voters are removed.

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