Bengaluru: Hoping to increase voter turnout in the elections to the State Assembly on May 12, the Election Commission has extended the poll timings by one hour across all constituencies in the State after apprehension of lower voter turnout owing to extreme heat conditions in some parts of the State. The polls will now be held between 7 am and 6 pm.
A gazette notification issued in this regard also cites the introduction of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT), apart from the extreme heat conditions prevailing in the State now, as the reason for the extension of poll hours.
“After we had received suggestions on extension of timings of the poll, we had sent the proposal to the Election Commission, which has extended the timings by one hour,” Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told presspersons in Bengaluru yesterday.
In fact, when the polls were declared by the Commission, parties as well as individuals had sought extension of time since extreme heat conditions prevail in the State during May, and especially so in North Karnataka. While the Commission is making provision of drinking water facility and ORS in every booth, extension of timings had also been suggested.