The Silicon Valley’s voter turnout is again disappointing in this Lok Sabha elections when compared to other parts of Karnataka. Bengaluru city saw a low turnout, with Bengaluru North witnessing a 48.28 percent turnout, Bengaluru Central 42.43 percent and Bengaluru South 49.36 percent and Bengaluru Rural 59.43 percent. Is it a matter of shame? Well, we got to think about it. Lets, for now, analyze some of the possible reasons which might have led to such an upsetting voter count in Bengaluru city.
Frustrated over missing names!
More than 200 people gathered near Ambedkar college in Pulkeshinagar, protesting against their missing names in the voting list of Lok Sabha Elections 2019. They were surprised as to why their names weren’t available in the voter’s list because some of them had been voting for decades. Neither the polling officers nor the BBMP officials had any solution to this problem due to which people were stopped from casting their votes despite fulfilling all the eligibility criteria.
Not registered as voters itself!
Even if we consider that every eligible citizen of Bangalore is registered as a voter, we still have 13,90,421 unaccountable entries in the rolls. Because we know that at least 6,00,000 eligible citizens have not yet registered as voters. We can suspect about 20,00,000 non-genuine entries in the electoral rolls of Bangalore. The genuine voters in the electoral rolls of Bangalore are only about 70,00,000. Many NGOs have put dedicated efforts to get people into the electoral rolls.
Online voter registration applications rejected for no reason!
Of the 13,395 online applications made from 2012 to January 2018, 8,867 applications were simply rejected without any reason. Mahadevapura constituency records a high 66% rejection rate of all online voter registration applications.
Sanjiv Kumar, Chief Election Officer, Karnataka, has ordered that every case be scrutinized again. ERO of Mahadevapura has submitted an affidavit to the High Court, accepting that 66% of the online applications for voter registration were rejected without any reason.
Non-Cooperation of ERO’s!
Most of the EROs (Electoral Registration Officers) in Bangalore have been most unfriendly to the citizens approaching them to register as voters. They spin new rules of their own and refuse to operate as per ECI rules and guidelines. Whitefield constituency was so frustrated with the treatment from the ERO staff that they filed a PIL in the High Court of Karnataka.
Electoral Rolls not updated!
According to our electoral roll, Bengaluru has nearly one crore voters. This seems like a highly bloated figure even prima facie. There are a lot of double and multiple entries because of huge intra-district migration, deceased people not being removed even after decades of death.
Some, only look towards their enjoyment!
Now, look at this. Continuous holidays, Scorching sun with extensive heat everywhere, long waiting queues at booths, etc were actually some of the reasons to not vote!. Well, with double this terrible heat in regions of coastal areas, Kolar, etc they have actually recorded more than 75% voting of their total population which is a matter of shame to Bengaluru. Karawali region, Dakshina Kannada recorded the highest voter turnout in Karnataka with 68.93 percent.
Vacation time you see!
People have already been on vacation was the biggest challenge this time. Now that we have the summer holidays going on for schools, it is common for families to plan up their trips. But being responsible citizens, can’t we just have them after the elections?. To be frank, the so-called ‘poll-day vacation’ going Bengaluru is a fictional creature, or at worst, in minority.
Lack of Interest!
Some so-called literate, urban dwellers show the least interest in actually stepping out and voting unlike the rural crowd giving vague reasons like ‘nobody is good enough’, ‘how is it going to help me’, Laziness, etc. And mainly lack spirits, sportsmanship, and ignorance towards a country’s event like ‘Elections’ unlike people living in villages. And hence Bangalore rural put up 59.43% voting slamming the city whose overall turnout is disappointing 46.69%.
While skipping the vote may not seem to cause any harm, the long-term consequences are disastrous. With Bangaloreans understanding this, I hope Bengaluru witnesses extensive betterment and actually tops the country with the highest voting rates in the next Elections.