LSG Polls: Despite Covid-19 concerns, Kerala records huge voter turnout in first phase
At 6.08pm, the total voter turnout was 72.03%. Alappuzha led the count with 76.42%, followed by Idukki - 73.99%, Kollam - 72.79%, Pathanamthitta - 69.33% & Thiruvananthapuram - 69.07%.
The first phase of the local body elections in five districts – Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha and Idukki – came to end on Tuesday evening. The Left Democratic Front (LDF), United Democratic Front (UDF) and National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are locked in a three-way fight.
There were serious concerns that the state’s Covid-19 situation will have a major impact on the voter turnout, but those concerns can be laid to rest. A huge turnout was witnessed at almost every booth in the five districts. There were a total of 11,225 polling booths in the five districts. According to the State Election Commission, the first phase had 88,26,873 voters.
According to the reports, the total voter turnout at 6.08pm was 72.03%, with Alappuzha recording 76.42% voter turnout. Kollam recorded 72.79% voter turnout, Pathanamthitta recorded 69.33% and Thiruvananthapuram recorded 69.07%. However, the biggest surprise in terms of turnout percentage was Idukki district with 73.99%.
With 24,548 candidates fighting the polls, voting at polling stations began at 7am and ended at 6pm. At noon, Alappuzha district had the highest voter turnout with 42.64%, followed by Pathanamthitta with 41.60%, Idukki with 41.24% and Kollam 40.54%. Thiruvananthapuram had the least voter turnout percentage at noon with 37.38%.
According to reports, the polling went smoothly in all districts and there were no long queues at any booths. Keeping in mind of the Covid-19 protocols, voters were asked to wear face masks, sanitize their hands on entering and exiting the polling booth and maintain social distancing. Only three voters are allowed at a time inside the booth. The last hour of polling was reserved for Covid-19 patients. These patients were allowed to cast their vote after wearing a PPE kit.
The 2020 Kerala local body polls are being held in three phases. The first phase ended on Tuesday. In the second phase, five districts – Ernakulam, Kottayam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Wayanad – will go to polls on December 10. In the third phase, four districts – Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod – will go to polls on December 14 and the counting of votes will begin on December 16.