Council elections: Voting begins at 8 am today

The fate of eight candidates contesting for the two seats of the Legislative Council will be sealed on Sunday, as the polling will be held from 8 am till 4 pm.

The candidates who are contesting from the Dakshina Kannada local authority constituency – which covers Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts – are Prakash Shetty (JDS), K Prathapchandra Shetty (Congress), Praveenchandra Jain (JDS), Kota Srinivas Poojary (BJP), Alphonse Franco (Ind), Ismail Doddamane (Ind), K Jayaprakash Hegde (Ind) and K Harikrishna Bantwal (Ind).

The term of the sitting MLCs elected from local bodies constituency of Dakshina Kannada – Kota Srinivas Poojary and Prathapchandra Shetty (Cong) – will end on January 5.
The total number of voters in the constituency is 6,558, including 3,368 female voters. The constituency has 410 polling booths.

The number of voters in Dakshina Kannada district is 3,844 while in Udupi district it is 2,714. The number of voters in Kundapur taluk is 1091 with 67 polling booths, Udupi has 1,156 voters with 63 polling booths, while Karkala has 539 with 36 polling booths. Mangaluru taluk, meanwhile, has 1,204 voters with 61 booths, Bantwal has 928 with 60 booths, Belthangady has 704 with 50 booths, Puttur has 657 voters with 43 booths and Sullia has 361 with 30 booths.

Madappady Gram Panchayat in Sullia taluk and Konaje in Puttur taluk have the lowest number of voters – five each – while Mangaluru City Corporation has highest, with 65 voters.

The Dakshina Kannada district administration has made elaborate arrangements to ensure peaceful polling. A total of 1,164 officials have been deployed for polling in the district. As many as 269 micro observers have been appointed. There are 269 presiding
officers, 269 assistant presiding officers, 53 additional polling officers and 269 Group D workers in Dakshina Kannada.

Similarly, in Udupi district, 755 micro observers have been deployed for the election – including 303 in Kundapur, 288 in Udupi and 164 in Karkala taluks.

The entire process of polling will be recorded on camera as a video, unlike Assembly or Parliament elections, where such recording facility is provided only at sensitive and hyper-sensitive booths. The conventional ballot papers will be used for the polls instead of the electronic voting machines. All those who cast their votes will have to use the pens provided at the polling booths to mark their preferential votes. The ballot paper also has ninth column for None Of The Above (NOTA) option.

There are four illiterate voters in the district and they have been permitted to take the help of assistants to exercise their franchise. Similarly, there are nine illiterate voters in Udupi district – five in Kundapur taluk, three in Udupi and one in Karkala taluk.

A polling booth with 25 voters will have two polling staff members while an additional polling staff member would be provided for booths with a larger number of voters.

All the ballot papers will be kept in the strong room. The counting of the votes will be held at Lady Hill Victoria Girls Composite College on December 30 from 8 am.
DH News Service

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