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Over 50 per cent of Sikkim's population to vote this year

Over 50 per cent of Sikkim population will exercise right to vote when the state goes for simultaneous LS and Assembly polls on May 10.

india Updated: Mar 09, 2005 13:24 IST

Over 50 per cent of the total population of Sikkim will exercise their right to vote when this tiny hill state goes to simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly polls on May 10, official sources said in Gangtok on Friday.

After the revision of electoral rolls, 2.80 lakh voters, of a total population of 5.4 lakh, have been identified in the state this year, Deputy Chief Election Officer CP Dhakal said.

This was something unusual as the number of voters in other states of the country normally varies between 25 to 30 per cent of their total population, he said.

Sikkim will be the first state where 100 per cent of the voters will get photo identity cards in these elections, Dhakal said, adding 88 per cent of the voters have already got their photo ID cards and the rest will get them before the poll process begins in the state.

Another first for Sikkim in these elections is the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). A total of 1200 EVMs have been received by the state election office to be installed at different polling stations across the state.

Though the introduction of EVMs will cut down the stationary costs their purchase and transportation will increase the expenses to be incurred over the polls by 40 per cent in comparison to the last polls in 1999, Dhakal said.

First Published: Mar 19, 2004 14:03 IST