Goa and Punjab were the first two states which went to polls on February 4. In the 2017 Assembly Polls, Goa, apparently witnessed its highest voter turnout of 83 percent, breaking its record of 81 percent in the last assembly polls. Goa had reached its 83 percent turnout by 5 PM. Goa has a total of 40 assembly seats, and Punjab has 117. Uttarakhand, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh are yet to go to polls.
Polling day in Goa
The polling in Goa started at 7 am.
It is being said that the ruling BJP, in Goa, is presently in a tough fight with the Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress, Shiv Sena and GSM for the 40-member House.
BJP is contesting for 36 seats in Goa, whereas the Congress is contesting for 37 and AAP for 39 seats; each of the aspirants are also backing a few independents.
Voting in Goa was held across 1642 booths, with para-military forces and the state police guarding the polling venues.
Some of the early voters to cast their votes in Goa were Union Minister Shripad Naik, current chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar, and union defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who, as is being speculated, is BJP’s like chief ministerial candidate for Goa.
Overall, the voting process was carried out quite peacefully with no violent incidents being reported, apart from certain technical anomalies with the electronic voting machines and the cancellation of voting in one of the booths.
So far, re-polling has been suggested in Margao constituency in South-Goa. The re-polling has been scheduled for February 7, between 7 am and 5 pm.
Apart from the normal procedures that are followed on the day of polling, Goa experienced a few interesting developments. According to the Election Commission, one of the polling booths in the state was managed completed by persons with disabilities. Furthermore, 14 polling booths, across the states, had been demarcated by colour, for women, and were entirely managed by women as well.
First time female voters were given teddy bears and pens after casting their votes, and men were given pens.
According to the chief electoral officer of Goa, the state also witnessed 100 percent use of the electronically transmitted postal ballot system for the very first time. Not on this, 100 per cent webcasting was done across the state, on all the polling stations.
Polling day in Punjab
The polling in Punjab started at 8 am, an hour late from the designated time of 7 am, due unstable weather conditions.
According to the Election Commission, by 5 pm, the final voting percentage in the state had been recorded at 78.62 percent.
The highest polling percentage was recorded in Mansa, at 87.34 percent, whereas the lowest percentage was recorded in SAS Nagar at 71.9 percent.
Much like Goa, security personnel had been deployed across the state at all polling booths.
The state had a total of 1,98,79,069, electors, which includes 93,75,546 females and 415 transgender voters.
As for the total number of candidates, there were 81 women and one transgender.
However, unlike Goa, Punjab witnessed several technical hitches as well as a few incidents of violence were reported across the state.
It was reported by a police officer that two persons were injured in these incidents, which apparently took place between AAP and Congress workers in Sangrur district.
Another incident of violence took place in Tarn Taran district, where one person is said to have been injured by a bullet.
Technical errors were reported in the voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines, which had been installed for the first time across Punjab. Glitches in the VVPAT machines were reported in Majitha and Sangrur, according to an election office spokesperson.
Polling had to be called off at a few places due to these technical errors, however the faulty machines were replaced with other machines in a working condition.