67 per cent polling in the second phase of HP election: DEC

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) An estimated 67 per cent of the electorate today exercised their franchise in the second and final phase of polling for 65 Assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh, Deputy Election Commissioner (DEC) R Balakrishnan said.

Briefing mediapersons here today, Mr Balakrishnan said in the previous Assembly elections the voting percentage was as high as 74 per cent which witnessed a drastic fall in the last Parliament election.

The election, conducted amid tight security, was by and large peacefull, he added.

''In today's election a total of 324 candidates were involved of which the number of female candidates were just 25.'' According to him, in order to facilitate the people the Commission had set up as many as 5,946 polling stations of which as many as 25 polling stations were at the height of over 7,000 feet from the sea level and in the case of eight polling stations all polling materials were airlifted.

The DEC said as many as 40 general observers and 524 micro observers were pressed on duty to cover the election process.

The state acheived a rare distinction of initiating the booth wise Reference Imaging Seat (RIS) where the voters image were also in place along with their names. This was done to reduce bogus voting, he said.

He said the Commission also used the Photo Electoral Roll which covered nearly 57 per cent of the voters and the RIS covered another 24 per cent which together accounted for 81 per cent of the voters in the state.

A nodal officer was also commissioned to tackle the unforseen weather conditions of the higher reaches in the state but a bright day favoured the voters, he added.

UNI

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