State electoral office for single-day polling

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State electoral office for single-day polling

Election commission officials of Karnataka have recommended Assembly elections in a single phase, as in 2013.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, chief electoral officer Sanjiv Kumar said a single day of voting would deter “bad and rowdy elements”.

They will not be able to vote multiple times, impersonate others or intimidate other voters, he said.

“This was also an opinion expressed by one of the political parties,” he remarked.

In 2013, the Assembly election was held in a single phase. The decision lies with the Election Commission of India, which will weigh the pros and cons of a single phase as against two phases, he said.

In 2013, polling was held on May 5 and votes were counted on May 8.

Earlier this week, a six-member team of Central election officials visited Bengaluru to review preparedness for the Assembly elections.

They had indicated the election could be held between the last week of April and the first week of May.

The two options had their merits and demerits, Kumar said.

“When the elections are held in two phases, bad elements may go from one constituency to another, which has happened before,” he observed.

Holding elections in a single phase calls for a large deployment of police personnel from the Centre and the state, and that poses practical difficulties, he said.

In 2013, the Centre had deployed 44,000 personnel, while more than 80,000 from Karnataka, including Home Guards and forest guards, had performed election duty.

“This time around, as a large number of new voters have applied, the number of polling stations will increase. This will require the additional deployment of forces,” he said.

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