New Delhi: The high-stakes Karnataka assembly elections saw a 70 per cent voter turnout on Saturday, the Election Commission said here.
The last assembly election in 2013 had witnessed 71.4 per cent polling, it said.
The polling figure is likely to go up as some voters were still queued up at the polling stations after 6 pm.
In what is projected as a tight race, voting was held in 222 out of 224 seats in a three-cornered contest among the ruling Congress, the BJP and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda's JD(S).
Over 2,600 candidates are in the fray-- more than 2400 men and and over 200 women. There are a total of 5,06,90,538, voters of whom 2,56,75,579 male voters, 2,50,09,904 female and 5,055 transgender voters.
Counting of votes will take place on May 15.
Earlier in the day, the Bharatiya Janata Party's Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was among the first to vote at Shikaripura in Shivamogga district. He has claimed that the BJP will secure 140-150 seats and that he will invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to his swearing in.
Siddaramaiah ridiculed Yeddyurappa after voting on Saturday, saying the BJP leader was "mentally disturbed" and that the Congress was sure of bagging more than 120 seats.
Janata Dal-Secular chief and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, his wife Chennamma and second son H.D. Revanna cast their votes in their hometown Holenarsipura in Hassan district.
"We expect a possibility of forming the government as we have done well to get a majority," Deve Gowda told reporters.
Many in Bengaluru lined up outside polling centres since 6.30 a.m. to beat the early rush.
Polling in Bengaluru's Raja Rajeshwari Nagar segment has been postponed to May 28 following the discovery of voter ID cards and cancelled in the city's Jayanagar seat following the death of BJP contestant B.N. Vijaya Kumar.
In all, voting is being conducted in 26 of the 28 constituencies in the city.
Karnataka has over 5.06 crore electorate, including 2.6 crore men and 2.5 crore women. A total of 15.42 lakh voters, aged 18-19, have registered for the first time.
The highest number of voters (6.03 lakh) are in Bengaluru South and the lowest (1.7 lakh) at Sringeri in Chikkamagaluru district.
Polling is being held in 58,008 stations in 30 districts, with 600 of them dubbed 'pink booths', overseen by women personnel. Over 1.5 lakh security personnel have been deployed.