Polling in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019 began at seven O’clock Thursday. The 38-day marathon exercise of voting in 7-phases to elect 543 parliamentarians will conclude on May 19. And counting of votes will take place on May 23.
The first phase will see polling in 91 constituencies spread across 18 states and 2 Union Territories. While only a part of most states will go to polls in this phase, it is total in Andrha Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha.
In all, the fate of at least 1,285 candidates will be sealed in the EVM machines by the end Thursday. While all the polling stations were open by 7:00 AM and will be closes at 6:00 PM in most places, in areas sensitive to security matters the exercise will fold up from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Voting is done through electronics voting machines (EVMs) with paper trail (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail). The introduction of EVMs has reduced the time required for counting, and got rid of election malpractices such as booth capturing and stuffing ballot papers in hordes into the ballot boxes. However, malfunctioning of EVMs due to technical snag, albeit in small percentages, remains a concern.
The second phase of election will take place on April 18.