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(Added on 21/09/2008 pcg)

As a poor guess:

If our population is 100 Crores, We have 80 crore eligible Voters. Of which about 60 Crore may be registered Voters. Of which only about 30-35 Crore turn out for Voting. Reasons for not turning out to vote in case of registered voters may be many.

  1. Not interested in voting as does not care as to who comes in power.
  2. Not present at the place where registered as a voter.
  3. Genuinely not in a position to vote such as illness or some other urgent personal work.
  4. Fear of the Terrorists/Bullies.

We may not be able to do much in case of reason (i) and (iii) above. But something can be done for reason (ii) which I think is the major cause for poor turn out.

Most importantly, we can do a lot to register the 20 crore eligible voters who are not registered. They are young, they are interested and they are energetic. That will straightaway increase the number of persons who turnout for voting by about 10 crores, an increase of about 25% over the present number of persons who turn out for voting.

Right to Vote and Registration as a voter:

As per our constitution every eligible citizen has the right to vote. But at any time there are about 25% of citizens who fulfill the conditions of eligibility but are not registered as voters, hence are unable to vote.

Reasons for not registering as voters:

(i) They are not interested to be registered as voters due to whatever reason.

(ii) The system of registration is tedious/ restrictive, so that they are not able to register themselves as voters although they would like to.

Which of above is the main reason:

In my family there are six eligible persons, only three of them are registered voters. Other three are not yet able to get themselves registered. Reason is not (i) but (ii) above.

From the above, it can be safely assumed that the main reason for eligible persons not registering as voters is the faulty system of registration.

Suggestions for improvement of system:

  1. Registration should be open through out the year except when the elections are already declared or in progress.
  2. Application for registration should be freely given to whosoever asks for it. It should be possible to download it from the net.
  3. Application should be received in the election office on any working day and a receipt given to that effect.
  4. Many eligible persons shall be encouraged to register, if issue and receipt of applications in the election office is facilitated on all Sundays.
  5. Voter photo ID card should be prepared on the basis of photo and signature furnished on the application. There should be no need for photography again just for the purpose of issuing voter ID card.
  6. Voter card should be issued within about one month of submitting the application.
  7. Eligible persons should be listed as voters with a unique ID which should never change even if the person changes his place of residence any where in India.
  8. Application form may be suitably designed to ensure getting reliable information from the candidate for purposes of verifying the eligibility of the candidate as a voter.
  9. Particulars may be verified as in case of issuing passport/ ration card.