Pune’s Migrant Youth- Why Can’t We Be Given An Opportunity To Vote?

Vote - Loksabha Elections 2019
Image used for representation only.

 

The Lok Sabha elections will soon be underway and the ‘model code of conduct’ has already been imposed across the country, following the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission Of India.

Polling will be held in 7 phases, starting April 11 continuing till May 19. Results are to be announced on May 23.

This year, the total number of voters have gone up by 8.4 crore taking the voter count from 81.5 crore in 2014 to 90 crores. This year, there are around 1.5 crore young voters (18-19 age group) who will be casting their vote for the first time.

While political parties are all set to hit the battleground, several young citizens who spoke to Pune365 seem irked that geographical boundaries and the lack of an online ballot or option is preventing them from exercising their franchise.

Daaud Khan, Marketing Executive/ NRI: “Sadly, even within the country there’s a huge barrier for citizens who wish to vote but live in another city.

When I was working in Pune, many of my friends told me how they were made to sign a document that they had voluntarily decided against traveling to their home city to vote.  

This problem is going to grow larger as more young people come and settle in big cities. The apt way to deal with this is DEVISING an online ballot system that is secure. This will help such cases as well as NRI’s like me.

Preksha Manik, a content writer: I have a legitimate voter identity card, yet, I won’t be able to vote this year since I have shifted to Pune a couple of years ago and my address updation has been long pending.

I have requested for the address change during the local level elections but my application has still not been processed.

Hrudhayani Sharma, a mother and working professional: I think it is very important to vote in a democracy, hence I plan to take a day off and travel to my home city to vote.

I will vote keeping the Prime Ministerial candidates in mind, since that way even if the local representative is ineffective, the person at the top can make a difference. So, I am voting keeping the highest office in mind.

Santosh Talaghatti, Entrepreneur: There should be provisions made to let people vote even if they are away from their polling stations. Overseas voters always face a problem and so does the domestic voter who has relocated to another city.

It is not always feasible to travel to your home town to cast the vote, even though you want to!. Prior commitments don’t always allow that to happen.

In such a case, the internet should be used as an effective medium to help people like me cast their vote. There are provisions made to online register yourself as a voter, even for non-resident Indians.

But, it isn’t helpful if we can’t cast out votes due to geographical boundaries. E-election and e-voting systems can be developed to get Aadhar based thumb impressions on e- voting machines to solve this.

Radhika Kale, student: I am excited to cast my vote for this Lok Sabha elections. I received my voter’s ID card after the last elections. I definitely want to be a part of those whose one vote can change the future of the country.

The general elections come every five years and people should make an effort to vote. However, I do not think this year anything will change on the ground.

The NOTA option can however be a good solution for those who do not have trust in any of the parliamentary candidates.

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Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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