With the fifth and final phase of polling in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections reporting a turnout of about 62% provisionally, it appears that the overall polling percentage this time will be about 57% which is almost the same in 2004 polls.
In 2004, the average all-India turnout was just over 58%. Estimates show that in 2009, it is about 57%
Smaller states and Union Territories continued to lead the way with Nagaland once again topping 90%. Among the larger states, West Bengal has recorded the highest turnout at about 74%.
In general, the southern states as well as those in the north-east have polling percentages well above the national average, while the Hindi heartland states and those in the west like Maharashtra and Gujarat have noticeably lower turnouts.
One of the encouraging aspects of 2009 polls is that in Jammu & Kashmir, the provisional figures of voter turnout is around 40%, up from 35% in 2004.
The Election Commission has conducted the elections in a meticulous way. Except for stray incidents of violence, the elections, by and large, have been held peacefully.