HP assembly polls: Voting across 68 constituencies begins

Voting for the crucial Himachal Pradesh elections began on Saturday at 8 am on a slow note after officials conducted a mock poll at all booths to check EVMs.More than 55 lakh voters in the hill state will decide the fate of 412 candidates in 68 assembly constituencies. Twenty four women candidates are in the fray this time.Of the total voters, 28,54,945 are male and 27,37,845 female voters in the state.Himachal Pradesh’s Chief Electoral Officer Maneesh Garg said all arrangements are in place for the polling.”All 7,884 polling parties have reached the polling stations and set up the polling booths. They are accompanied by security forces. Nearly 50,000 polling staff and around 25,000 security staff have been deployed,” he told PTI.The voting is scheduled from 8 am to 5 pm and the Election Commission has 7,884 polling stations, including three auxiliary voting stations in far flung areas. Of these, 789 are vulnerable booths and 397 critical ones.The EC has set up its highest booth in Tashigang, Kaza in Spiti area of Lahaul Spiti district at a height of 15,256 feet that would cater to 52 voters.The 2017 assembly election saw a record 75.57 per cent polling.