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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Voter count goes down at country’s highest polling station

From 333 voters during 2012 assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, the country’s highest polling station, Hikkim, has only 46 voters this time.

india Updated: Oct 14, 2017 17:23 IST
Saurabh Chauhan
Saurabh Chauhan
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Hikkim village in Himachal Pradesh is the country’s highest polling station.
Hikkim village in Himachal Pradesh is the country’s highest polling station.(Photo: Wikipedia)

The total number of registered voters has gone down both at the country’s highest polling station Hikkim (14,567ft) in Himachal Pradesh’s Lahaul Spiti and state’s smallest polling booth Ka in Kinnaur.

The state’s distinctive polling booth in Ka, which had 18 voters in 2012, has only six electorates this year. Hikkim, meanwhile, had 333 voters during 2012 assembly elections, but there are 46 voters this year.

Electoral officers of both the tribal districts said the villages are second homes of many as people have migrated to other places.

Speaking to HT, state chief electoral officer (CEO) Pushpender Rajput said, “Ka has six and Hikkim has 46 voters. We are however making all election-related arrangements at both the places.”

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Rajput said Himachal has over 49 lakh voters. “From September 15 to September 30, during our special drive, around 78,000 applications have been received regarding new entries, which will be finalised in a couple of days,” he said, and added, “These voters will cast vote in 7,521 polling stations, including 42 auxiliary polling booths.” Of total, 51 polling booths are highly sensitive, he said.

Rajput said the process of nominations will start from October 16 till October 23.

Last date of withdrawal of the nominations is October 26. The state will go to poll on November 9 and results are likely to be declared on December 18.

He added that a video conference was held on Friday with the neighbouring states regarding poll preparations.

“We have asked the concerned authorities to keep a vigil on state borders. Process of installation of CCTV cameras has almost been completed,” he said.

He added that 75 companies of central forces have been sought besides nearly 50,000 employees will facilitate the election process.

The state election commission has also reportedly spoken with telecos regarding poor network. Rajput added the polling parties will use 141 satellite phones where mobile connectivity is poor.

The commission has said it will be using information technology extensively to facilitate smooth elections. “Mobile apps have been launched to streamline election process. Networking software RONET has also been designed for returning officers,” he said.

Besides this, the election commission has asked its state counterpart to use social media to reach out to maximum people.  


First Published: Oct 14, 2017 17:21 IST