‘Low polling ratio in state’s urban areas’

The trend of the lowest electoral ratio and similar findings was revealed by Karnataka’s first-ever Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) baseline survey report. Representational Image

A large number of eligible voters do not turn up to exercise their franchise in the state’s urban areas, especially in Bengaluru Urban, Kalaburgi and Hassan districts.

The trend of the lowest electoral ratio and similar findings was revealed by Karnataka’s first-ever Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) baseline survey report.

The report was released on Friday by the Chief Electoral Officer of Karnataka, Sanjiv Kumar, and S Madheswaran, Professor and Head, Centre for Economic Studies and Policy, Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC).

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the report’s release, Madheswaran said though the number of voters had increased from 64.9% to 71.8%, the turnout from urban cities remained poor.

This survey was conducted between November and December 2017 by a team of professionals from ISEC.

A part of the election commission’s flagship programme — Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) — it has given a direction to the EC on filling the gaps and increasing the enrolment.

A sample size of 70,000 households from a cross-section of society was surveyed. A total of 129 in-depth, focused group discussions were also held to identify the shortcomings in the area.

Of the 224 assembly constituencies, 40 were surveyed.

Skewed female ratio

Madheswaran said that though the electoral population had increased from 63.8% to 72.9%, the male-to-female ratio remained skewed.

The survey also pointed to the gap of 35.3% in the youth enrolment (18-19 age group).

Kumar said that as per the analysis, an interaction with 3.5 lakh physically challenged voters was held and details of their preferences in casting their votes were noted down.

The EC is also creating 30-40 ethnic and tribal polling stations focusing on the tribal population.

To increase awareness among voters, it has also been decided that booth-level awareness groups (Bags) — comprising booth- level officers, volunteers and Asha workers — will go from door to door, seven days before the elections begin and hand over photo voters slips.Relevant contact numbers, name, photograph and contact number of BAGs will also be distributed for people’s benefit.

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