In northern Malappuram district, voting, which commenced at 7 am, was affected in over 250 booths due to faulty electronic voting machines.

Election Commission officials said the panel has received at least 255 complaints. Malappuram Collector T Bhaskaran has been asked to look into the matter, they said, adding faulty machines are being replaced.

While the highest voting percentage registered was from Alappuzha district, Pathnamthitta recorded the lowest in the first five hours of polling.A total of 44,388 candidates are in the fray for 12,651 seats in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad and Malappuram.

Two corporations -- Kochi and Thrissur and 55muncipalities, 576 gram panchayats, 89 block panchayats and seven district panchayats are among the local bodies where second phase polling is being held.

The first phase of the polls was held on November 2 in Kasargod, Kozhikode, Kannur, Idukki, Kollam, Wayanad and Thiruvananthapuram.

Counting of votes will be held on November 7.Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the Election Commission has taken steps to start polling in the affected booths as early as possible.

He told reporters after casting his vote at Puthupally panchayat in Kottayam district that he had faith in the unity of UDF and it will reflect in the election results.

Opposition leader V S Achuthanandan expressed confidence that LDF will win with a huge margin. In a booth at Wellington island in Ernakulam district,voters had to wade through knee deep water to exercise their franchise.

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