After a campaign over three months, Karnataka is voting to elect a new assembly in a three-cornered contest on Saturday(12 May 2018).
The ruling Congress and the BJP are the main contenders for power, while former prime minister HD Deve Gowda’s JD(S) is likely to play the kingmaker, according to most surveys and opinion polls.
There are more than 4.98 crore voters who are eligible to exercise their franchise to choose their representatives from a field of little over 2,600 candidates. Men account for over 2.52 crore voters, women around 2.44 crore, while there are 4,552 transgender electors.
While the Congress is seeking a second term, the BJP is aiming to firm up its label as a pan-Indian party by winning a State election in the South, a region where it is not ruling now. The Janta Dal (Secular) is contesting polls in alliance with the BSP and the AIMIM.
Elections to R.R. Nagar has been postponed after over 9,000 voter ID cards were seized in the constituency. Voters from Jayanagar, too, won’t be exercising their franchise on May 12 as the elections were deferred after the demise of BJP candidate and sitting MLA Vijay Kumar.
4 unique facts about the Karnataka assembly election 2018
The Karnataka assembly elections is not just a hard fought battle between BJP & Congress, but a unique one as well. There are many firsts in this election and one among them is the introduction of the M3 EVMs.
M3 EVMs For the first time in India
The M3 EVMS would be used in the Karnataka Elections. M3 or third generation EVMs would be used for the first time at 7 constituencies in Karnataka. The ECI had recently decided to phase out the existing machines in a phased manner and introduce the M3 EVMs. The new machines have a self diagnostic feature that would give the machine the ability to identify fault or defects within the system. Further the control and ballot unit can communicate with each other. If someone plants a Ballot Unit or Control Unit from outside, the digital signature will not match and the system would stop functioning.
The ECI will set up all woman polling booths. One polling station in each assembly constituency will have an all women’s booth. In all there would be 224 such booths across the state. Karnataka Assembly Election dates Date of notification – April 17. Last date to file nominations – April 24. Last date to withdraw nominations April – 27 Date of polling May – 12.
Highest first time voters
The number of first time voters in the age group of 18 and 19 has gone up since 2013. The number of first-time voters is 15,42,000 as against 7,18,000 in 2013.
Photos of candidates on ballot paper
This time the ballot paper will not just feature the name of the candidate and party but a photograph as well. This has been done to avoid confusion among the voters in case candidates have similar or same names.
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