A tentative voter turnout of 74 per cent was recorded in all 186 panchayats in Goa though the State Election Commission (SEC) is expecting it to touch 80 per cent after the final figure is worked out. The polling was held during 8 am to 5 pm. Addressing reporters here tonight, the state election commissioner RK Srivastava said those standing in queues till 5 pm were given a chance to cast their vote and accordingly some voters were still exercising their franchise. “Voting percentage until 4 pm was 74.24 per cent. Looking at the trend, we hope the polling touches somewhere around 80 per cent at its conclusion,” Srivastava said, adding that 81 per cent polling was recorded in the 2012 Panchayat elections. The elections were held for 186 panchayat bodies consisting of 1,450 wards, out of which 540 have been reserved for scheduled caste/scheduled tribe (SC/ST) and other backward class (OBC) candidates and 490 for women including 323 in general category.
As many as 5,223 candidates are in fray and over 7.49 lakh people are eligible to cast their votes. A total of 55 candidates were already elected unopposed. Apprehending heavy rains, the SEC had set up water proof pandals across all booths. Elaborate security arrangements have been made with nearly 6,500 policemen guarding the 1,246 polling booths where votes would be polled through ballot paper. The SEC had identified around 70 polling booths as sensitive, hypersensitive and critical. “Overall the election was very peaceful. There were no complaints of any sort including violation of the code of conduct,” the commissioner said. The results will be known on June 13.