Voting for third phase today
   Date :07-May-2024

Voting for third phase 
Staff Reporter
As many as 1,39,01,285 voters including 69,33,121 male voters, 69,67,544 female voters and 620 third gender voters will exercise their franchise at 15,701 polling stations of seven Lok Sabha seats of the state under the third phase elections on Tuesday. Addressing a press conference here on Monday, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Chhattisgarh Reena Babasaheb Kangale said that voting will be held in 58 assembly constituencies of seven Lok Sabha seats- Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa (reserved for scheduled caste), Raigarh (reserved for scheduled tribe), Korba and Surguja (reserved for scheduled tribe) in the state on Tuesday. Polling will be held from 7 am to 6 pm. All preparations have been completed for polling at the polling stations of the seven Lok Sabha seats.
Polling parties left for the concerned polling stations of the seven Lok Sabha seats of the state on Monday so that the polling can begin on time. 168 candidates including 142 male candidates and 26 female candidates are in the fray in the seven Lok Sabha seats of State. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there were a total 1,27,13,815 voters and now the total voters is 1,39,01,285 an increase of 9.34 per cent.
There are 3,98,416 voters, whose ages are between 18 and 19; 31,92,602 voters, whose ages are between 20 and 29 years; 1,29,481 PwD voters; 61,715 voters, whose age are above 85 years; 2174 voters, whose ages are over 100 years and 11,271 service voters. Gender ratio is 1000:1005. Average per polling booth voters are 885. In Surguja Lok Sabha constituency, 18,19,347 voters will exercise their franchise. 18,38,547 voters will cast their votes in Raigarh Lok Sabha constituency. 20,56,047 voters will cast their votes in Janjgir-Champa Lok Sabha constituency.
16,18,864 voters will exercise their franchise in Korba Lok Sabha constituency. 21,02,687 voters will cast their votes in Bilaspur Lok Sabha seat. 20,90,414 voters will cast their votes in Durg Lok Sabha constituency. 23,75,379 voters will exercise their franchise in Raipur Lok Sabha constituency. Gender ration of voters is more than 1000 in 29 assembly constituencies out of 58 assembly constituencies in seven Lok Sabha seats of State. Total 2809 Sangwari polling stations, which will be managed by the female polling personnel, have been set up in the seven Lok Sabha seats. 58 polling stations will be managed by PwD polling personnel while 235 polling stations will be managed by the youth polling personnel. 306 Adarsh polling stations have been set up in the seven Lok Sabha seats of the state.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Surguja Lok Sabha seat saw a turnout of 77.30%, Raigarh Lok Sabha seat recorded 77.78%, JanjgirChampa Lok Sabha seat had 65.58%, Korba Lok Sabha seat witnessed 75.28%, Bilaspur Lok Sabha seat reported 64.36%, Durg Lok Sabha seat had 71.68%, and Raipur Lok Sabha seat recorded 66% turnout. In addition to the voter photo identity card, voters have the option to present 12 other alternative photo documents for casting their votes. These include the Aadhaar Card, MNREGA Job Card, Driving License, PAN Card, Indian Passport, Pension Document with Photo, service identity cards with photo issued by Central/State Government/PSUs/Public Limited Companies, passbooks with photo issued by banks/post offices, smart cards issued by RGI under NPR, Health insurance smart card issued under the Ministry of Labour scheme, Government Identity Card issued to Members of Parliament /MLAs/Legislative Council, and Unique Disability ID (UDID) card issued to Persons with Disabilities by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. On the polling day, May 7, a public and general holiday has been declared in the seven Lok Sabha constituencies. Similarly, the Labour Department has announced May 7 as a "paid holiday" for workers.
As of May 5, a combined total of 2725 voters, including 805 individuals aged above 85 and 462 individuals with disabilities, have participated in the electoral process via door-todoor postal voting in these seven Lok Sabha seats under the third phase. Additionally, 641 postal ballots have been received at the assistance centres managed by election duty officers/employees. Out of total 11,271 service voters in the seven Lok Sabha seats, 428 postal ballots have been received by May 4. In the seven Lok Sabha constituencies, a total of 61,664 polling personnel have been deployed for 15,701 polling parties, with an additional 15,928 personnel on standby. To ensure the integrity of the elections, 202 companies of security forces have been stationed. Among these, 25 polling stations are classified as vulnerable and 1072 as critical, necessitating the deployment of CAPF personnel along with measures such as webcasting, videography, and microobservation. Additionally, 283 polling stations have been identified as shadow areas for the third phase. Moreover, 1658 sector officers have been tasked with providing regular updates on polling percentages to the Returning Officer every two hours. Booth Level Officers (BLOs) will be stationed at Voters Assistance Booths in every polling station, equipped with alphabetical voter lists to assist voters in locating their names and serial numbers. A total of 37,855 Ballot Units (BU), 19,097 Control Units (CU), and 20,984 VVPAT machines have been provided.
Webcasting facilities have been set up at 7,887 polling stations out of the total 15,701, allowing the Election Commission of India to closely monitor proceedings. Meanwhile, on Monday, both major political parties, the BJP and the Congress, engaged in door-to-door campaigning to sway voters. The primary electoral battle in these Lok Sabha seats is between the BJP and the Congress. To combat the heat wave, arrangements have been made at all polling stations across the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in the state, including provisions of cold water, lemon water, and ORS for both voters and polling parties. Additionally, coolers have been installed, and shaded areas have been designated for voters. Waiting halls are also available at the polling stations, along with medical kits, stated the CEO.