Karnataka Lok Sabha elections 2024 LIVE updates | Voter turnout in 14 seats at 41.59% by 1 p.m.; Chikkodi leads at 45.69%

Karnataka: 14 seats record 41.59% voter turnout; Chikkodi leads at 45.69%.

Karnataka: 14 seats record 41.59% voter turnout; Chikkodi leads at 45.69%.

Byelections to Shorapur Assembly: Voter turnout stands at 39.74% according to latest updates.

Amidst a harsh drought and sweltering heat, 2,59,52,958 electors, including 35,465 service voters, will determine the future of 227 candidates—206 men and 21 women—in Phase 3 of Karnataka’s Lok Sabha elections 2024. Polling is underway in 14 constituencies spanning North and Central Karnataka. A total of 1,40,705 polling personnel, including reserve police, have been mobilized across these constituencies to facilitate the electoral process and ensure a smooth and orderly voting experience for all citizens.

The 14 constituencies undergoing polls include Chikkodi, Belagavi, Bagalkot, Vijayapura, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Bidar, Koppal, Ballari, Haveri, Dharwad, Uttara Kannada, Davangere, and Shivamogga. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP claimed victory across all these seats, defeating the Congress and JD(S) coalition that held power in the state.

Throughout campaigning, complaints regarding regional disparities and unfulfilled promises, particularly concerning irrigation projects, simmered beneath the surface. These issues often took a backseat to communal narratives and inter-party blame games. Recent cases such as the Neha Hiremath murder and the Prajwal Revanna sexual assault allegations have further fueled discontentment among voters, potentially influencing the electoral outcome.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) has taken extensive measures to facilitate the smooth conduct of polls in the face of various challenges, including urban apathy and extreme heatwave conditions. Recognizing the importance of voter awareness and participation, the EC has launched initiatives aimed at engaging citizens and ensuring their active involvement in the electoral process.

One of the primary concerns addressed by the Election Commission is the issue of urban apathy, which often results in low voter turnout in urban areas. To combat this, the EC has undertaken extensive electoral awareness campaigns, leveraging various communication channels to reach out to urban voters and emphasize the importance of exercising their franchise. These campaigns seek to instill a sense of civic responsibility among urban residents and encourage them to cast their votes in the upcoming elections.

Moreover, the Election Commission has implemented measures specifically targeted at addressing the challenges posed by extreme heatwave conditions, particularly for vulnerable groups such as senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PwD). Recognizing that high temperatures can deter individuals from venturing out to polling stations, the EC has taken proactive steps to mitigate this issue. These measures include setting up cooling stations at polling booths, providing adequate shade and drinking water facilities, and extending polling hours to accommodate voters who may prefer to cast their ballots during cooler periods of the day.

In addition to these efforts, the Election Commission has introduced innovative technological solutions to assist voters in navigating their way to the polling stations and accessing relevant information about the electoral process. One such initiative is the ‘Chunavana’ mobile app, which serves as a comprehensive resource for voters, offering features such as polling booth location, navigation guidance, candidate information, details of polling officers, real-time queue status at polling stations, available parking space, and nearby emergency facilities. This user-friendly app aims to enhance voter convenience and accessibility, making it easier for individuals to participate in the democratic process.

By leveraging technology and adopting a proactive approach to address various challenges, the Election Commission is committed to ensuring the integrity and inclusivity of the electoral process. Through its initiatives, the EC seeks to empower citizens to exercise their democratic rights effectively and contribute to the democratic fabric of the nation. With robust mechanisms in place to support voter engagement and mitigate potential obstacles, the Election Commission is poised to oversee a successful and participatory electoral exercise in the upcoming polls.

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