Puducherry’s Mahe creates history with 31 women-managed poll booths | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Puducherry’s Mahe creates history with 31 women-managed poll booths

ByAman Aryan
Apr 11, 2024 07:10 PM IST

According to ECI, “all-women managed polling booths” provide a sense of comfort and security to all voters, particularly female and “third-gender voters”

New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced that on April 19, 140 women polling officials will exclusively take charge at 31 polling stations across the Puducherry Lok Sabha constituency’s Mahe, which is situated in the Arabian sea coast, bordering Kerala.

The Election Commission of India. (PTI)
The Election Commission of India. (PTI)

The ECI posted a campaign video on Instagram on Thursday, which shared the information about the constituency and urged people to “come out and vote.”

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A release from the Chief Electoral Officer P Jawahar’s office on April 2 had said that it had been noted that the number of eligible women voters was large in the Mahe region; also that women “could conduct the polls in a better manner,” and hence women staff would exclusively take charge of the polling stations in the area.

Also Read: ECI directs clear identification of printers, publishers on poll-related hoardings

Mahe district, one of Puducherry’s four regions, “is going to create history” by setting a precedent for gender-inclusive electoral processes, as “for the first time” in Lok Sabha elections all polling officials the 31 polling stations, are women, the social media post said.

It added that with an electorate population of 31,038 and a gender ratio of 1161, Mahe district was an example of gender inclusivity. It further mentioned that this number “surpasses the UT’s average gender ratio of 1130, making a significant stride towards gender parity and inclusivity”.

Earlier, during the Chhattisgarh assembly elections in 2023, all polling booths in the Raipur North assembly constituency were exclusively staffed and managed by women polling officials. It was for the first time in the country’s electoral history that any assembly constituency in the country was exclusively managed by women where 1046 officials were deployed across 201 polling booths.

Also Read: Political parties briefed on newspaper ad curbs 48 hours prior to polling

The EC post mentioned that this step would create a scene of empowerment and representation. It also mentioned that “four teams of female poll workers conducted home voting” for 269 voters aged 85 and above and Persons with Disabilities (PwD) “who opted for the optional home voting facility”.

According to ECI, “all-women managed polling booths” provide a sense of comfort and security to all voters, particularly female and “third-gender voters”, promoting more inclusive elections.

In another voter awareness initiative, scuba divers in Chennai took to the sea, “enacting the voting process 60 feet underwater in Neelankarai”. This unique initiative, captured in a reel also posted on ECI’s Instagram handle, aimed to engage and educate voters creatively.

The election commission has also made special arrangements for voluntary voting through postal ballots for police officers who will be deployed for election duty. The first phase of voting will be held in 102 constituencies across 21 states and Union Territories on April 19, 2024.

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