Bihar Election Phase 1 poll Live Updates: Polling in 71 assembly constituencies of Bihar in the first phase of three-phase elections which took place amid tight security and COVID-19 guidelines, has ended. Till 5 pm, a voter turnout of 51.68 per cent was recorded. In phase 1, of the total 2,14,84,787 electors who were eligible to exercise the franchise, 1,12,76,396 are male voters, 1,01,29,101 female and 599 are in third gender category, according to data provided by the Election Commission. There are 78,691 service electors. A total of 1,066 candidates — 952 men and 114 women — are in the fray in the first phase of elections held today in constituencies spread across 16 districts. Guidelines have been issued by the Commission for safe conduct of the electoral exercise in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic. These guidelines included lowering the maximum number of voters for a polling booth from 1,600 to 1,000, staggering the polling hours and extending postal ballot facility to those above 80. Besides, sanitisation of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and the availability of thermal scanner, hand sanitiser, soap and water were also ensured at polling stations. As many as 33 of the constituencies that went for polls in the first phase were declared as sensitive or hypersensitive constituencies. According to the ECI, 31,371 polling stations were set up in this phase and as many Electronic Voting Machines and Voter-Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used.
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