Women outnumber men in Bihar’s polling stations

Female voter turnout has surpassed male voter turnout in Bihar for the third assembly election in a row, with women at 59.7% outshining the men at 54.6%. While the male voter turnout in this assembly election was highest since 2010, with 53.32% recorded in 2015 assembly poll and 51.1% in 2010, female voter turnout in 2020 poll fell short of the 60.4% record turnout of women voters in 2015. It was however significantly higher than the 54.4% female voter turnout in 2010.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, the 59.5% overall female voter turnout in Bihar was again higher than the 54.9% male polling percentage. As per the updated overall polling percentage for 2020 assembly election in Bihar, the combined turnout for all three phases stood at 57%. This is higher than the 56.6% turnout recorded in the 2015 Bihar assembly election but a shade lower than the 57.3% turnout recorded in 2019 Lok Sabha poll. Of course, considering that the Bihar poll was held under the shadow of Covid-19 pandemic, the impressive voter turnout is being seen as a very positive sign of robustness of Indian electoral process and also as a vindication of Election Commission’s “leap of faith” while balancing health and safety concerns with the democratic aspirations of the people.

The assembly constituency-wise turnout breakup, shared by EC officials, shows that female voter turnout in this poll was more than 70% in 11 assembly constituencies and over 60% in 141ACs. Male turnout did not exceed 70% in any of the 243 ACs and surpassed 60% in just 37 ACs.

A higher female voter turnout is said to have played a key role in JD(U)’s past wins with Nitish Kumar’s liquor ban policy also seen as targeted at his women supporters.

Interestingly, though EC had allowed Covid-positive and symptomatic voters to vote by postal ballot or at the polling station in the last hour of poll, an EC official  that none opted for postal ballot route and barely 242 Covid-positive electors came to the polling station to vote in the last hour of polling.

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