Bangalore, May 22 : At least 20 percent voters had caste their votes till noon during the third and final phase of the Karnataka Assembly elections, according to a State Election Commission official.
Polling is being held in 69 segments spread across eight districts of Northern Karnataka, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Bidar, Gulbaga, Bijapur, Bagalakot and Belgaum.
An estimated 11.7 million voters, including 5.8 million women, were registered to exercise their franchise and decide the fate of 699 candidates, including several independents.
About 56,000 security personnel were deployed to ensure smooth polling and prevent untoward incidents.
At least 10.18 million voters are expected to decide the fate of 699 candidates in third phase, including 43 women.
Some of the prominent candidates who are in the fray are former Chief Minister N Dharam Singh, KPCC President and former Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, former Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council H. K. Patil, former Ministers Gurupadappa Nagamarapalli, Jagdish Shettar, C.M.Udasi and Govind Karjol.
The eight districts have 12,389 polling stations, of which 4,358 have been identified as 'hyper-sensitive' and 4,038 as 'sensitive'.
Hundreds of micro-observers and central observers have been deployed to check bogus voting and other malpractices.
According to sources, special precautions have been taken in communally sensitive Hubli and Belgaum.
The first two phases of polling was conducted on May 10 in 89 constituencies spread over 11 districts region and on May 16 in 66 segments across 10 districts of Karnataka.
Counting of votes will take place on May 25.