Mysuru: The Election Commission and the District Administration are setting up special ‘Sakhi’, or ‘Pink’, polling booths for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Election. These special booths will be staffed entirely by women — from the presiding officers to the micro-observers and security personnel. This is being done to attract more women to vote.
There will be at least 450 such booths across the State and the booths will be painted pink, decorated with pink balloons, tablecloths, walls, etc., and the officials will all be dressed in shades of pink.
In Mysuru, there will be 24 such booths across the 11 constituencies — Chamaraja, Krishnaraja, Narasimharaja, Chamundeshwari, Periyapatna, Hunsur, K.R. Nagar, H.D. Kote, Nanjangud, Varuna and T. Narasipur.
On its part, the District Administration has begun painting of such booths and the Election Commission has launched a promotional campaign on pink polling booths in the electronic media. In the campaign, female poll staff is seen wearing pink clothing while the booth interiors too are of pink hue.
It is for the first time in Karnataka, all-woman polling booths will be established across the 224 constituencies of the State. The Election Commission of India had trialled this idea for the first time in the Assembly polls in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, followed by Gujarat and more recently in the Northeast.
Within city limits, in Narasimharaja Constituency, JSS Vidyapeetha Santha Shishunala Sharief High School Room No.2 (booth No. 141) on Mahadevapura Road and St. Anne’s Convent High School Room No. 1 (booth No. 78) in N.R. Mohalla have been identified as Pink booths.
In Chamaraja Constituency, Government Bifurcated Maharajas Junior College in Nazarbad Room No. 2 (booth No. 210), Sri Jayachamarajendra Ursu Boarding School in K.G. Koppal Room No. 1 (booth No. 151) and Grace Vidya Samsthe, Mahadeshwara Badavane, Kumbarakoppal (booth No. 54) have been identified as Pink Booths.
In Krishnaraja Constituency, Jayalakshmi Vilasa Arya Balika School on B.B. Laya Road Room No. 2 (booth No. 121), Akkana Balaga Primary School on Thyagaraja Road Room No.1 (booth No. 119) and Koushika Sankethi Sangha Sankethi Hostel in Jayanagar (booth No. 74) are Pink Booths.
Women make up about 50% of the voters across the 11 constituencies of Mysuru. In KR, NR, and T. Narasipur constituencies, female voters outnumber their male counterparts. In NR, out of the 2,53,051 voters, as many as 1,27,720 are women.
Officials said that the pink booths have been identified in such areas where 60% of the women are registered as voters.
Across the State, there are around 4.97 crore registered voters, up by 12% from the 4.37 crore voters registered in 2013. There are 2.52 crore male voters this time, compared to the 2.23 crore registered in 2013.
From 2.13 crore in 2013, the number of women voters registered have increased by 14.53%, to 2.44 crore. In 2013, the male voting percentage was 72.4% (66.33% in 2008) and female voting percentage was 70.47% (63.23% in 2008).