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Election Commission Prepares for Action as Five States Head to Polls in Three Months

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has been visiting five poll-bound states over the last two months, with a 17-member delegation, headed by Chief Election Commission Rajiv Kumar. This week, the team reached Hyderabad in Telangana on Tuesday to oversee electoral preparations in the state. There are five states which will go to polls soon: […]

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has been visiting five poll-bound states over the last two months, with a 17-member delegation, headed by Chief Election Commission Rajiv Kumar. This week, the team reached Hyderabad in Telangana on Tuesday to oversee electoral preparations in the state. There are five states which will go to polls soon: Mizoram, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Telangana.

The term of the Mizoram assembly, with 40 members, is ending in December while that of the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly ends in January. The assemblies of Madhya Pradesh (230 members), Rajasthan (200 members), and Telangana (119 members) will also go to polls in the coming weeks. According to the schedule, the EC is likely to announce the dates for the elections in these states this month. The Commission’s delegation visited Mizoram and Chhattisgarh in August and Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in September.

MIZORAM
Mizoram has 8.38 lakh voters, including 4.32 lakh women. The electoral roll has a gender ratio of 1,060. There are 40,934 first-time voters in the state. The state will have 1,276 polling stations, including 751 in rural areas. There are 657 voters per polling station on average across the 40 assemblies. To enhance inclusiveness and encourage more voters to participate in the upcoming assembly, at least 95 stations will be managed by women—all polling officials including security staff will be women—and 40 by youngsters. There will be 11 stations managed by persons with disabilities. The EC is also offering home voting facilities for more than 9,000 voters who are above 80 years and more than 3,000 PwD voters.

CHHATTISGARH
The CM Bhupesh Baghel government’s term in the 90-member Chhattisgarh assembly ends on 3 January. The state, with 1.97 crore voters, will have 24,109 polling stations. There are 815 voters per station on average. Just 4,853 polling stations are in urban areas while the rest are in rural areas. The state has more than 4.43 lakh first-time voters. The roll-gender ratio in the state is 1,003. Home voting facilities will be provided for 1.47 lakh PwDs, 2.02 lakh voters who are above the age of 80 years, and 2,948 voters aged 100 or above.

MADHYA PRADESH
The term of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will end on 6 January. The state, with 5.52 crore voters, will have 64,523 polling stations. The roll gender ratio stood at 936 and the average voter per polling station is 843. Madhya Pradesh has 2.67 crore female voters, and at least 5,000 polling stations across the state will be managed by women. The home voting facility will be provided for 4.85 lakh PwD voters, 7.12 lakh voters above 80 years and nearly 6,180 voters over 100. The state has more than 18.86 lakh first-time voters and at least 1,150 polling stations will be manned by youngsters.

RAJASTHAN
The Congress government’s term will end on 14 January. Of the total 200 seats in the state, 141 are general while 25 belong to the Scheduled Tribe (ST) and 34 to the Scheduled Caste (SC) categories. The state has 5.25 crore voters, including 2.51 crore women and 604 transgender persons. Rajasthan has an elector gender ratio of 920 and nearly 22 lakh first-time voters. The state will have 51,756 polling stations with an average 1,002 voters each. Out of the total polling stations, 41,341 are in rural areas. The EC is ensuring that 200 stations are managed by PwD, 1,600 each by youth and women. The home voting facility will also be provided in the state for around 12 lakh voters who are above the age of 80, around 18,500 voters who are above the age of 100 and 5.61 lakh PwD voters. More than 350 check posts will be established, including 251 by police. The ECI will also focus on enhancing voter turnout in the state. In the 2018 elections, the total turnout was 74.71% in which females outperformed males (73.83%) with 74.68% voting. However, in at least 95 assemblies and nearly 25,000 polling stations, female voter turnout was lower than men. The ECI is aiming to improve the overall turnout to 75%.

TELANGANA
The EC is currently in Telangana finalising the planning and working on the election details. The poll body will issue the details for the state later this week. In the last elections, the state had 2.61 crore voters and 32,574 polling stations. It is expected to go up this time. In the 2018 assembly elections, the five states went to vote on 12 November. Apart from Chhattisgarh, all the states witnessed single-phase elections. Rajasthan and Telangana went last to vote

FIRST-TIME VOTERS

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