Assam’s first phase turnout touches 82.20%

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New Delhi: Assam recorded one of the highest ever turnout in the first phase of polling for the state assembly elections on Monday at 82.2%, according to the state chief electoral officer’s website.

Election officials are not calling it a record turnout because of the lack of comparative data for previous years. Elections were held for 65 constituencies in the initial phase.

“We have not compared it with earlier data so it is difficult to say whether it is a record turnout or not. But it will be one of the highest ever turnouts in this region. Also, to be sure, the postal ballots are still being counted so eventually it may just increase by up to 0.5%,” a senior official from the state election commission said, requesting anonymity.

Interestingly, the female turnout for the first phase at 82.58% is higher than the male turnout at 81.84%. Noiboicha assembly constituency in Lakhimpur district clocked the highest turnout at 88.07%, whereas Silchar assembly constituency in Cachar district had comparatively the lowest turnout at 75.05%.

In terms of district-wise turnout, Lakhimpur clocked the highest at 85.23% and Karimganj the lowest at 78.17%.

According to data provided by the Election Commission, the 65 constituencies which went to polls on Monday had a total turnout of 75% in the 2011 assembly elections.

Overall, Assam traditionally sees high voter turnout, maintaining above 70% turnout in all the assembly elections since the last three decades. An analysis of the turnout in the last four decades of all assembly elections shows that the state has never crossed the 80% mark. To be sure, the second phase of the Assam elections is scheduled for Monday and the turnout of that phase would eventually determine the overall turnout of the state.

Across assembly elections, Assam had a total turnout of 75.92% in 2011, 75.77% in 2006, 75.05% in 2001, 78.92% in 1996 and 74.67% in 1991.