Odisha Panchayat Polls: More than 60% voting till 1 pm

Bhubaneswar: The first phase of the Odisha Panchayat Elections on Wednesday saw 60% voting till 1 pm, according to the State Election Commission.

Reportedly, “Phase 1 has seen 60 percent polling till 1 p.m.,” the SEC Secretary Rabindra Sahu said along with a disclaimer that these are approximate figures as data from some polling stations takes time to be incorporated.

A pink booth has been created in each block headquarter to attract and encourage the participation of women voters, added SEC secy Rabindra Sahu.

Stray incidents of violence were reported from across polling booths in the State today such as miscreants allegedly snatched ballot boxes from booth No-9 in Kashijharia village of Chapamanik Gram Panchayat under Brahmagiri block in Puri.

Notably, those who are inside the booth till 1 pm will be given a chance to vote.

The voting will continue till 1 pm and will be held in five phases on February 16, 18, 20, 22, and 24.

More than 67.51 lakh eligible voters will cast their votes for the candidates fighting for the position of Zilla Parishad members, sarpanches, Panchayat Samiti members, and ward members in Odisha. The voting will be carried out at 22,379 wards and 1,669 panchayats across the state, added reports.

As many as 13,785 booths have been identified as sensitive booths across Odisha among a total of 91,913 booths in the first phase of the Panchayat Polls.

At the time of polling, each voter is required to produce an Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) or any of the 13 other ID proofs approved by the State Election Commission.

The Covid positive voters will be allowed to cast their votes during the last hour of polling with strict adherence to coronavirus protocols.

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