"We are trying our best to draw voters to the booths by educating them on their right to vote," returning officer and Collector of Kandhamal, M Thirumala Naik said. The by-poll scheduled for October 15 was necessitated following the death of BJD MP Hemendra Chandra Singh on September 5.
The Collector, however, said the turnout would depend on weather conditions on the polling day. "Folk artists are being engaged to create awareness among the people. We are also distributing leaflets and holding rallies in schools and colleges," said deputy collector (Kandhamal) Sumant Kar.
The administration is planning to erect five model booths to attract the electorate, he added. In the last general election on April 10, the parliamentary constituency recorded 73 per cent voters' turnout, official sources said.
Sources said there are 11,41,735 (male 5,81,050 and female 5,60,651) voters in the seven assembly segments of the Lok Sabha seat.
The seven assembly segments are Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district, Baliguda, Phulbani and G Udaygiri (all reserved for ST) in Kandhamal district, Boudh and Kantamal in Boudh and Daspalla (SC) in Nayagarh district. Of the total 1,497 polling stations, 637 are in Kandhamal, they said.