Lok Sabha election 2019: Highest voter turnout and usage of VVPATs in all polling stations among many firsts in polling process

The biggest festival of democracy, the Lok Sabha election 2019, was a two-month long event spanning seven phases of polling. Assembly elections of four states were also held along with it. The election process will conclude on 23 May with the announcement of results.

In this election, 10 lakh polling stations were set up, as against about nine lakh in 2014. Here are a few of the firsts this election witnessed:

-The ‘voter-verifiable paper audit trail’ (VVPAT) was used in all polling stations for the first time in a Lok Sabha poll.

-Candidates with criminal antecedents were required to publish information in this regard in newspapers and through television channels on three occasions during the campaign period. The political parties that gave tickets to such candidates were also required to publish information about their criminal background, both on their website and also in newspapers and television channels on three different occasions, which wasn't the norm earlier.

 Lok Sabha election 2019: Highest voter turnout and usage of VVPATs in all polling stations among many firsts in polling process

Representational image. Reuters

-The EVMs and postal ballot papers carried the photograph of all candidates to help voters identify the political leaders in the fray.

-Moreover, all political advertisements on social media required pre-certification.

This year, of the total electorate of over 900 million, around 15 million were in the age group of 18 to 19 years, and were counted as first-time voters.

As many as 2,293 political parties were registered with the Election Commission of India on 9 March, out of which seven were recognised national parties and 59 state parties.

Interestingly, 2.6 million bottles of indelible ink were ordered for the polls costing about Rs 33 crore, News18 reported.

The voter turnout in this election was the highest since independence, at approximately 67 percent. Meanwhile, the highest jump in figures came from women voters. The gender gap this election came down to 0.4 percent in the first six phases of polling, as mentioned by the Deputy Election Commissioner Sandeep Saxena.

The turnout of women also exceeded that of men in at least nine states and Union Territories, with the highest in Manipur at 84.16 percent and Meghalaya at 73.64 percent, followed by Arunachal Pradesh, Kerala, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Uttarakhand, Goa, Mizoram and Lakshadweep.

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Updated Date: May 20, 2019 23:40:03 IST