Third gender votes register increase in Himachal polls

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Twenty-six out of 38 third genders i.e. 68 per cent cast their vote in November 12 assembly polls, which is double than their participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections….reports Asian Lite News

The number of third gender voters has registered an increase in the assembly elections this time, compared to 2017 assembly and 2019 parliamentary elections, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Maneesh Garg said here on Thursday.

Twenty-six out of 38 third genders i.e. 68 per cent cast their vote in November 12 assembly polls, which is double than their participation in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

It was in 2017 when transgenders were included as a separate category in electoral rolls. The total count of third gender in 2017 assembly polls was 14 out of which only two i.e. 14 per cent exercised their right to franchise.

Similarly, in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019, only 34 per cent of the registered third gender cast their vote.

The CEO said in 2022 the registration of transgender in electoral rolls was 17 as per the final publication on January 15.

It was due to initiatives of the Election Commission of India and the state Election Department the enrolment of transgender increased to 37 as per the final publication of electoral rolls on October 10 and the count went up further by another addition, taking tally of third gender voters to 38 as of now.

The CEO said the Election Commission had felicitated the members of transgender community at the model polling station in Dharampur during their visit, which increased their visibility.

Bijali Mahant, a transgender, has been made a District Icon of Bilaspur district and all efforts were being made to appoint members of the transgender community as state and district election icons, Garg said.

Meanwhile, the approximate poll percentage in Himachal Pradesh stood at 75.6 per cent, Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg said last week.

In 2017 assembly elections, the poll percentage was 75.57.

He said the poll percentage through EVMs was 74.6 per cent. Besides, one per cent postal ballots was received, taking the overall turnout to 75.6 per cent till now and nearly two per cent postal ballots are yet to be received.

The highest polling percentage of 85.25 per cent was reported from the Doon assembly constituency and the lowest polling percentage of 62.53 per cent in the Shimla constituency.

The state Election Department had laid focus on the constituencies with low voter turnout in the assembly polls of 2017.

The department launched its SVEEP and voter awareness activities under its unique programme UTSAV (Universal Transparent Elections through Systematic Awareness of Voters) and specially focused on these 11 assembly constituencies, an official statement said.

A comparative analysis of 11 constituencies — Dharampur, Jaisinghpur, Shimla, Baijnath, Bhoranj, Solan, Kasumpati, Sarkaghat, Jaswan Pragpur, Hamirpur and Badsar — revealed that the voter turnout eventually improved in nine of them by up to seven per cent.

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