Shillong, March 4: Meghalaya recorded the highest voter turnout yesterday — 89.05 per cent — since the state had its first Assembly elections in 1972.
Raliang constituency in theJaintia Hills registered the highest percentage, 95.09, and the lowest — 76.22 per cent — was recorded in the urban constituency of Laitumkhrah in Shillong.
The turnout was high in almost all rural constituencies across the state.
Chief electoral officer P. Naik today attributed this record of sorts to greater political awareness and faith in the electoral process.
“The electoral fidelity is the main reason for the success of the election as well as the high turnout,” he said.
That the photo identity cards left no room for manipulation was one of the reasons why people came out in droves to exercise their franchise, the chief electoral officer said.
So enthused were the voters that in a number of far-flung polling stations in East Khasi Hills, polling continued till 8.30pm.
A total of 10,81,023 votes were cast yesterday. The total electorate strength, excluding service voters, was 12,14,010.
Thirty-nine constituencies of the total 59 registered more than 90 per cent voter turnout, mostly in the Garo Hills.
In Tura, the largest constituency in the state, where NCP’s chief ministerial candidate P.A. Sangma is contesting, the voter turnout was 77.19 per cent.
The votes cast in chief minister D.D. Lapang’s constituency of Nongpoh touched the 90.13 per cent mark.
The smallest constituency of Mawkhar in Shillong, which has only 7,777 voters, recorded 78.72 per cent, with 6,122 people casting their votes.
Among the seven urban constituencies, Mawlai recorded the highest with 84.43 per cent.
All electronic voting machines are kept in strongrooms at 15 counting centres in the state, guarded by the security personnel.
Seven district election officers and six subdivisional officers will supervise the counting, which will begin at 8pm on Friday. The election results will be declared by noon, Naik said.