AMARAVATI: The stage has been set for the conduct of municipal elections in the state. Polling will be held for 2,215 divisions and wards spread over 12 municipal corporation cities and 71 municipal towns and nagar panchayats on Wednesday.
The results will be declared after the counting of votes on March 14.

Although the State Election Commission (SEC) issued notification for the conduct of elections in 75 municipal towns, all wards in four municipalities including Pulivendula, Punganur, Macherla and Piduguralla turned unanimous, prompting the officials to conduct polling in 71 towns. Interestingly, many cities and towns are going for civic body polls almost after a decade.
District election authorities (DEAs) have identified hypersensitive and sensitive areas with regard to law and order situation and deployed additional police forces. Over 60 per cent of the total wards and divisions across the state fall under hypersensitive and sensitive areas segment.
Meanwhile, the SEC has set its focus on Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur cities to prevent electoral malpractices. State election commissioner Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar is undertaking a visit to Vizag while SEC secretary Kannababu will focus on Vijayawada and Guntur on the day of polling.
As many as 78,71,272 electors would exercise their franchise from 7 am to 5 pm in urban areas. Officials from the respective civic bodies have disbursed voter slips to electors and requested those who could not collect the slips to visit the polling stations with valid voter ID card for assistance.
Women voters outnumber men in a majority of the wards in the state. Altogether, 39.97 lakh women are enrolled as electors in towns, while 38.73 men have been identified as eligible voters. Additionally, 1,168 transgenders have also been enrolled as voters.
The SEC declared that as many as 7,552 candidates are in the fray for 2,215 divisions/wards in municipal corporations and municipalities. While 2,571 candidates will contest for 582 divisions in 12 corporations, 4,981 candidates are in the race for 1,633 wards in municipal towns. Interestingly, the 12 municipal corporation cities combined have more voters than the 71 municipal towns. While there are 48.31 lakh voters in 12 cities going to election, the 71 municipal towns together have just 30.40 lakh voters.
The SEC has appealed to voters to exercise their franchise without fail, adding that elaborate arrangements have been made for the conduct of polls in a peaceful environment.

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