Karnataka elections: Will voter turnout be hit due to a weekend polling day?
The Karnataka assembly elections this year fall on a Saturday. The Election Commission of India announced that while polling will be held on May 12, counting would take place on May 15.
In the 2013 elections, the state had witnessed an impressive turnout with a polling percentage of 71.29. This was incidentally the second highest voter turnout, the highest being in 1978 when the state recorded a polling percentage of 71.90.
The number of voters has gone up this year and many would expect a higher voter turnout due to this. While this is one factor, the problem, however, is that polling falls on a Saturday. Poll pundits feel that this may not have a big impact on the rest of the state, but in Bengaluru city, it could.
Last week, the BJP's manifesto committee chairman and Rajajinagar MLA, S Suresh Kumar had led a delegation to the Election Commission with a request that polling is held on a weekday. In the past three elections, the voter turnout in Bengaluru was poor and twice polling day fell on a weekend.
This year the number of voters in Bengaluru city too has gone up. The number of voters today is 87,98,335 when compared to 71,13,831 in 2013. The EC is on overdrive mode to raise an awareness about the importance of polling and going by the response it has got, it is confident that the polling percentage would be high. The BBMP too has come up with a slogan that goes, ' Cast your vote before you go for any outing.'
Many have also blamed the private companies for not declaring a holiday on polling day as the reason behind a low voter turnout in the city. As per the Representation of Peoples' Act and the National and Festival Holiday Act, it is mandatory for companies to declare a paid holiday on polling day. However, most companies do not follow this and only declare an hour's break for voting. This according to many is not sufficient considering the traffic snarls in the city.
While polling percentage in Bengaluru city could be much better considering it has a literate population, there is also some solace in the fact that the past two elections have seen a significant jump. In 2008 Bengaluru district recorded 49.87 per cent while in 2013, it was 57.38 per cent.
In Mysuru, there was, however, a drop in the polling percentage in 2013. The city recorded 65.83 per cent in 2013 when compared to the 67.03 per cent in 2008.
In the previous election, the highest polling percentage was recorded was 83.50 per cent from Chikkaballapur. In the 2013 assembly elections, the male-female voting ratio was "healthy" with male voter turnout percentage being 71.84 and female's 70.1.
In the 2008 elections, voter turnout for men was 66.33 per cent and for women 63.23 per cent.
Spike in the number of voters:
- Male voters are 2,52,05,820 in 2018 as compared to 2,23,15,727 in 2018.
- Female voters are 2,44,71,979 in 2018 compared to 2,13,67,912 in 2013.
- Transgender voters are 4,552 in 2018 as compared 2,100 in 2013.
- There are 15,42,000 young voters in the age group of 18-19 in 2018 as compared to 7,18,000 in 2013.
- The young voters' ratio has increased from 1.16 per cent to 2.20 per cent and the gender ratio from 958 to 972 in the same period; while Elector Population (EP) Ratio remained the same.
- The number of polling stations has also increased from 52,034 to 56,696 from 2013 to 2018.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|