An estimated nine per cent of the 95.06 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the first two hours of polling on Monday in six Lok Sabha and 41 assembly constituencies of Odisha, an election official said.
This is the fourth and final phase of polling in Odisha, except for the Patkura Assembly seat, where voting will be held on May 19, following the death of the BJD candidate.
Long queues of voters were seen outside the polling stations, even before the process commenced at 7 am, he said. However, technical glitches in EVMs delayed polling in 60 booths, but it resumed after the snags were rectified, the official said.
Elaborate arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling in the six Lok Sabha constituencies of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur and the 41 assembly seats that come under them, he said.
"Voting is underway in a peaceful and smooth manner. There has been no untoward incident anywhere," he said.
The electoral fortunes of 388 candidates, including BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda and Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik, will be decided in this phase.
While 52 contestants, including 12 women, are in the fray in six Lok Sabha seats, there are 336 candidates, 34 of them women, in the 31 assembly constituencies.
Of the over 95.06 lakh electorate, around 45.98 lakh are women and 595 voters are transgenders. Around 15,450 voters are service electors.
As many as 72,363 personnel have been deployed in 10,792 booths spread across the eight districts, where polling is being held.
Altogether 3,092 polling stations have been identified as critical and adequate Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) deployed to ensure smooth voting, said Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Surendra Kumar.
CCTVs have been installed in 554 polling booths, 595 micro observers appointed and around 1,216 poll vehicles fitted with GPS system to track the movement of reserve EVMs.
In Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency where the BJP had demanded tight seurity arrangements, additional security force has been deployed to ensure peaceful polling, the official said.
In a first, four polling stations are being manned by differently abled persons.
Around 1.86 lakh differently abled voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the final phase of polls.
As many as 105 polling booths are being handled exclusively by women staff in the last phase of polls in Odisha.