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Five lakh young voters in Odisha’s final voter list

Bhubaneswar: Preparations for the upcoming general elections have gathered momentum with publication of final electoral roll in Odisha. Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha, Surendra Kumar today informed that there are over 3.18 crore voters including 1,63, 37,310 male and 1,54,60,545 female voters, who will exercise their franchise in the upcoming polls.

Addressing a presser, Kumar further stated that the number of voters is likely to go up as the process of enrolment and deletion will continue till 10 days prior to the last date of filing of nominations.

As per the final voters’ list, there are 5, 45,401 young voters (in the age group of 18 and 19) which earlier stood at 1, 33,896 as per the draft voter list. Similarly, for the first time nearly 1.90 lakh divyangs have been identified while the number of third gender voters is 2,932.

It is pertinent to mention here that for the first time, VVPAT machines will be used in the upcoming general elections in Odisha. The State Election Commission has launched a massive campaign to raise awareness among voters in different parts of the State about the use of VVPAT machines. Kumar informed that the awareness campaign was launched on January 7 with a target to cover nearly 97,000 major villages and already 25,000 villages have been covered.

Nearly, 6, 50,365 voters have been excluded from the electoral roll due to various reasons, informed official sources.

In a bid to conduct the upcoming elections in a free and fair manner, the Election Commission of India today held discussion with Odisha government officials through video-conferencing. The commission has reportedly asked officials to lay stress on law and order, model code of conduct, police deployment and special measures for smooth conduct of polls in naxal-infested districts.

Earlier today, several aspects including law and order, police deployment and requirement of additional forces were discussed at the preparatory meeting held under the chairmanship of Odisha chief secretary AP Padhi at the Secretariat today.