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First phase voting begins, helpline for registering voting-related problems



Bihar Panchayat elections which will be conducted in 11 phases begins today. Amid tight security, voting for the first phase will take place in 12 blocks spread over 10 districts. The voting starts at 7 am in the morning and will continue till 5 pm.

This time voting will take place via both EVMs (electronic voting machines) and ballot papers. A total of 14,000 people have been deployed on polling duty at 2,119 polling stations established in 1,609 centres. State Election Commission (SEC) is making all necessary arrangements to conduct free and fair polls in the state.

SEC has made arrangements for webcasting polling at sensitive and super sensitive booths. It has also set up a state-level control room where any complaint about poll malpractices or other discrepancies could be lodged by simply dialling 18003457243.

To stop bogus voting, this time the voters would be verified through biometric machines at the booths. 15,328 candidates have filed nomination papers out of which 858 candidates have been elected unopposed while no candidate has filed nomination papers for 72 posts.

Counting of votes will take place between September 26 and 28, once the first phase is over. 28 districts in Bihar will not go to the polls in the first phase including Patna, Bhagalpur and Darbhanga. For the first time, the counting of votes will take place in the district headquarters or sub-divisional headquarters.

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