The Andaman and Nicobar Islands recorded a voter turnout of 65.18% in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 11, a difference of nearly 4.5% from the national average of 69.5%. However, a surprising revelation on the number of votes cast by those belonging to the "other" category in the union territory more than makes up for this minor setback to the democratic cause.
Data published by the Election Commission shows that the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have just nine transgender voters. However, despite the limitations posed by such a low figure, as many as 1,912 apparently came out to exercise their right to vote in this category.
While the Election Commission is yet to provide an official response to this discrepancy in data, an official suggested that it may be nothing more than a typographical error. Even so, it is a matter that warrants a second look, given that the figure has been taken into account to arrive at the voter percentage quoted by the polling agency.
The data table, published by the Election Commission on April 24, provides a gender-wise break-up of the total number of Andaman and Nicobar residents who turned up to cast their votes in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections. According to it, 1,07,985 of the union territory's 1,68,701 male voters fulfilled their democratic right while 97,311 of its 1,49,168 women voters chose to queue up at its polling booths on April 11. In all, 2,07,208 of its 3,17,878 registered voters came forth to choose the next government for the world's largest democracy.
The Lok Sabha elections, being conducted in seven phases, will continue till May 19. The votes will be counted four days later.