There are 40,771 polling stations spread out across 140 constituencies in Kerala this election.

Ink being applied to a voters hand after pollingImage for representation only
news 2021 Kerala Assembly Election Monday, April 05, 2021 - 20:45

Kerala goes to polls on April 6, and according to data released by the Election Commission of India (ECI), there are over 2.74 crore registered voters in the state. The Kerala State Election Commission has released the revised electoral roll for the 2021 Assembly Elections.  

According to ECI’s data, there are 40,771 polling stations spread out across 140 constituencies in Kerala this election. This is an 89.65 percentage increase in stations compared to 2016, which saw 21,498 polling stations. The number of polling stations have been increasing owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“There are 957 contesting candidates this time, including independents. Out of this, 851 are male, 105 are female and one is a transgender candidate,”an official from the election commission confirmed with TNM. 

Meanwhile, the EC has allowed one polling agent per candidate. A polling agent is a representative of a political party to ensure the voting process is free and fair. 

“Each contesting candidate is allowed to have one polling agent in each booth at a time. This means that if an Assembly constituency has five candidates, there can be five polling agents for each booth sitting in during polling,” a Returning Officer from Kannur told TNM.

While each candidate can have one polling agent in each booth, it is unlikely for independent candidates to field polling agents in most booths. The exact number of polling agents in the state is not available with the ECI.

VVPAT and EVMs

The ECI has arranged for 52,000 Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) Ballot Units and Control Units each for the state this election. Apart from this, 56,000 VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) have been made available for additional verification to voters. 

VVPATs provide feedback to voters in the form of a slip with information on who they voted for, in a ballot less voting system.

The ECI as part of its commitment toward gender equality and participation of women in the electoral process, has directed that to the extent possible, at least one polling station in each constituency in the state should be managed exclusively by women. 

The ECI has also appointed 140 returning officers each for an Assembly constituency who is responsible for the smooth conduct of elections in that particular constituency.

 

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