Thiruvananthapuram: The counting of votes polled in the Kerala Assembly election is likely to take longer this time due to the more number of postal votes, and lesser number of counting tables due to the COVID-19 protocol. Though the Election Commission said that the result would be known by noon, it is likely to get delayed further.
The counting of votes begins at 8am on May 2. The postal votes are counted first. There were two lakh postal votes last time, while it could be nearly 7 lakh in this election. Also, the number of counting tables in one hall has been reduced to 7, as per the COVID-19 protocol. Last time, there were 15 tables in one hall.
Polling percentage to go up?
The polling percentage of the April 6 Assembly elections is likely to be higher than last time.
The Election Commission has said that the voter turnout at the polling booths was 74.04 per cent. However, the initial count was calculated without including the postal votes of those aged above 80, differently abled and for the COVID-19 infected.
Of the total 2,74,46,039 voters, 3.53 lakh people casted votes through postal ballots from home. This would come up to 1.28 per cent.
By adding this figure to the number of people who voted at the polling booths, the polling percentage would be 75.32. Apart from this, at least 3 lakh of the 3.5 lakh officials deployed on poll duty is also likely to have to cast their votes. Their numbers have also not been included in the total figure.
Additionally, there are 57,160 service votes. There is also another category of essential service votes. Though the number of votes in this category would be relatively less, the final polling percentage can be arrived at only after including these too.
With all these, the polling percentage could be more than the 77.10 of the last elections. But the number of double/bogus votes could have been reduced this time due to the alert opposition and the intervention by the Commission.
Polling figures available for districts (data from 2016 in brackets)
Thiruvananthapuram 70.02 (72.69)
Kollam 73.16 (75.23)
Pathanamthitta 67.18 (71.55)
Alappuzha 74.74 (79.58)
Kottayam 72.16 (77.16)
Idukki 70.38 (73.82)
Ernakulam 74.17 (80.03)
Thrissur 73.74 (77.99)
Palakkad 76.23 (78.42)
Malappuram 74.26 (76.05)
Wayanad 74.98 (78.48)
Kozhikode 78.42 (82.20)
Kannur 77.78 (80.69)
Kasaragod 74.96 (78.76)