Single phase polling for Kerala’s 20 seats April 16

April 13th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, April 13 (IANS) Kerala will see polling for all its 20 Lok Sabha seats April 16 in the first phase of the elections, with women outnumbering male voters by 809,642.
Kerala’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Nalini Netto Monday said there are 21,865,324 voters in the state, of which 11,337,483 are women. There are 217 candidates in the fray with the maximum (20) contestants in Kottayam and the minimum (4) in Malappuram.

The Pathanamthitta constituency has the highest number of voters (1,213,370) and Ponnani the least (995,913).

Addressing reporters here, the CEO said 20,508 polling booths would be set up and a total of 24,377 electronic voting machines (EVMs) and 22,972 control units used in the poll.

“Since the maximum number of candidates on a single polling machine is limited to 16, at Kottayam, all the polling booths will have two voting machines with the second voting machine having the names of four candidates,” Netto added.

She said based on the past data and the field study done by officials, 2000 polling booths have been identified as “sensitive”, of which a major chunk are in the Kannur, Kasargode and Vadakara Lok Sabha seats. Then there are the “vulnerable” booths, where voters feel that they would be intimidated.

“The final figures of both these would be released on the eve of the polling,” said Netto.

Almost 100,000 poll officials will oversee the polling and close to 25,000 police personnel along with 20 companies of police from nearby states will be responsible for the security.

Meanwhile, two companies each of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Rapid Action Force will be deployed additionally in Kannur district.

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