51565Re: Reasons for low voting turnout
- May 15, 2009Couldn't find names, so didn't vote, says survey
20% failed in search, 25% others not listed
After the hullabaloo over the low turnout of voters in the Lok Sabha elections, a survey has found that nearly 45 per cent of those who did not vote for the Lok Sabha elections were not listed in the electoral rolls in polling booths they visited in the neighbourhood, as many names were in booths located elsewhere after delimitation.
The survey of "silent" voters, conducted by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini (RMP) in Mumbai, Thane and Pune from May 7 to 12, revealed that either people could not find their names in electoral rolls (20.51 per cent) or names were not listed in the rolls despite completing the process (24.83 per cent), thereby robbing their right to franchise.
The questionnaire survey was conducted through door-to-door meeting, interviews at ballot centres, by e-mail and telephone among around 5,000 citizens who did not vote in the Lok Sabha elections. It collected information from 1,252 residents of Mumbai by door-to-door survey, 1,052 at booths, 402 residents of Pimpri-Chinchwad and 2,090 residents of Pune.
As many as 38.56 per cent residents of Pune and 24.88 per cent residents of Mumbai said their names were missing from the list and that the process of listing names is cumbersome. Also, 29.19 per cent in Mumbai and 27.54 per cent in Pune said they did not renew the names in the list or could not find their names in the list. "Owing to delimitation, there has been a large majority who did not find their names in the voters' list even when they stepped out to vote. More than not voting, there were technical glitches that prevented people from voting," said Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, director-general of RMP.
Sahasrabuddhe suggested establishing a permanent mechanism for voter registration and list verification at post offices, branches of nationalised banks and incentives to political parties for establishing a unit manned by trained persons for election management.
Moreover, as many as 3 per cent voters in Mumbai and Pune felt that voting will not make any difference while 4 per cent said they no longer trust political parties. Of the 132 residents who voiced their opinion over phone, 35 said they had no confidence in political parties as they did not fulfil their promises, engaged in horse-trading after elections or forge post-poll alliances with rival parties.
"Our observation on the basis of the survey is that people above 50 expressed their disappointment with political parties and candidates. That was the reason they said they did not vote. Moreover, some said they did not have any choice in selecting candidates," said Sahasrabuddhe.
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