Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla top 3 Parliamentary constituencies with lowest voter turnout



NEW DELHI, Apr 05: Ahead of the polling in the ongoing General Elections 2024, Election Commission of India (ECI) has accelerated efforts to enhance voter turnout in Parliamentary Constituencies (PCs) with a history of low poll participation in previous General Elections. In a day long ‘Conference on Low Voter Turnout’ held today at Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi, Municipal Commissioners from major cities and select District Election Officers (DEOs) from various states and UT’s deliberated together to chart a path towards enhancing voter engagement and participation in identified urban and rural PCs. The Conference was chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar along with Election Commissioners Shri Gyanesh Kumar and Shri Sukhbir Singh Sandhu.

While addressing the Municipal Commissioners and DEOs, CEC Shri Rajiv Kumar said that a total of 266 Parliamentary Constituencies ( 215 Rural & 51 Urban) with low voter turnout have been identified and all concerned Municipal Commissioners, DEOs and State CEOs have been called today to find ways to reach out to voters in targeted manner. He emphasized on a three pronged strategy of providing facilitation at polling stations like queue management, shelter parking in congested areas; targeted outreach & communication; and involvement of critical stakeholders like RWAs, local icons and youth influencers to persuade people to come to polling stations.

CEC Kumar directed them to prepare a booth wise action plan for enhanced participation and behaviour change. He asked all MCs and DEOs to prepare different strategies for urban and rural areas and plan interventions accordingly for different target audiences. He emphasized that the “One size fits all” approach will not yield results. CEC Kumar also urged the authorities to act in a manner that instils pride among the voters in participating in the democratic festivities. He called for a movement in which people are self-motivated to vote.

The conference, a collaborative effort between the ECI and key stakeholders, focused on crafting a comprehensive action plan to address voter apathy, streamline logistical operations, and increase voter turnout. Discussions were centred on critical issues such as optimizing queue management at polling stations, facilitating voting in high-rise buildings, and leveraging the influential Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) programme.

The Conference was organised on the backdrop of 297 million eligible voters (approx), who did not vote in the General Elections 2019. Furthermore, recent elections across various states have highlighted trends of urban apathy towards the electoral process, warranting targeted interventions and collaborative endeavours.

Of the 50 Parliamentary Constituencies with the lowest voter turnout in the 2019 General Elections, Anantnag, Srinagar and Baramulla were the top three PCs with the Lowest Voter Turnout of 8.98, 14.43 and 34.60 %.

In response to these challenges, the ECI has implemented a suite of initiatives aimed at reinvigorating voter engagement and participation, including: Devising a Turnout Implementation Plan (TIP) for targeted interventions at polling stations, Crafting district-specific themes for polling stations catering to diverse demographic groups, Collaborating with key stakeholders to expand voter outreach and awareness efforts, Formalizing electoral literacy in the education system through strategic partnerships, Engaging National Icons to connect with and inspire young voters, Launching integrated multimedia campaigns and targeted initiatives like #MeraVoteDeshkeLiye, Ensuring updated electoral rolls and accessibility-friendly infrastructure at polling stations, Promoting the use of IT applications for enhanced citizen participation and transparency among other things.(KNS)


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