The Election Commission has deployed 16,662 personnel for counting of votes amid tight security. Though the full results will only be declared sometime after noon, the trends will begin coming in within the first hour of counting, giving an initial picture of which way Karnataka has swayed.
"All arrangements have been made for counting of votes in 222 seats from 8 a.m. onwards at 38 centres in 30 districts, including five in Bengaluru where polling was held in 26 of the 28 segments", Chief Electoral Officer Sanjiv Kumar told reporters here. The candidates have also been barred from any celebrations, bursting crackers etc at polling booths.
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, in that order, have been the highest poll-time spenders in the country, it said. While in some areas of the city such as Hebbal and C.V. Raman Nagar recorded pathetic turnouts to as low as 7% of voters. "By midnight, the figures showed that it was 72.13 per cent", Kumar said.
The just-concluded Karnataka state elections were the "most expensive ever" assembly poll in the country in terms of money spent by political parties and their candidates, according to an analysis by The Centre for Media Studies. It was 65 per cent in 2008 and 2004, 69 per cent in the 1989 and 1994 and 69 per cent in the 1990 elections, he said.
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Election officials had said yesterday that an estimated 70 per cent of the electors had cast their votes.
Karnataka has an electorate of over 4.97 crore, including 2.52 crore men and 2.45 crore women.
The votes for the 222 constituencies of the 224 seats will be counted on May 15.
Just hours before the election, the Election Commission on Friday postponed the voting in Bengaluru's Rajarajeshwari Nagar (RR Nagar) to May 28, after almost 10,000 voter ID cards were found in a flat in the constituency. Census India records that 41.1% of the population is below 18 years, which brings the eligible voters in the city to about 77.22 lakh.