Election Universe

India’s mammoth national election showing record high turnout as voting continues

India’s mammoth national election showing record high turnout as voting continues
April 17 2014, 21:07

Indians are taking democratic participation to a new level as the world’s largest election arrives to the second of its five weeks.

Voting began on April 7 and will run through May 12. If the participation rate experienced in the first four phases of the election continues, India could see a record high turnout of 68.29%.

Considering that approximately 814 million are eligible to vote, the number of citizens casting a ballot could come close to 555,880,600.

This turnout would end a downward trend going as far as 1984 and which extended for 6 elections.

Such good news should not come as a surprise as India’s Electoral Commission (IEC) has made great strides in bringing reforms to enfranchise the population.

A series of initiatives taken by authorities seem to have helped boosting the number of people heading to the polls thus far. In 1998, India pioneered adopting voting technology to facilitate voting and processing of the elections.

919,000 polling stations have been set up following a ruling by the Election Commission of India (ECI) so that no voter travels more than 2 kilometers (approximately 1.2 miles) to reach a polling station. The same ruling demanded that no polling station should have more than 1,500 voters.

On top of all that, voting hours were extended to 11 (7 am to 6 pm) for this Lok Sabha, Assembly elections.

Also, Aamir Kahn, a Bollywood icon has worked as the Electoral Commission’s brand ambassador to put a friendly face to the election and raise awareness in villages and small towns about the importance of participating.  Poll officers are also part of this awareness campaign, as they remind voters of their Constitutional right a day before polling.

Today, April 17th India hosted its biggest day of the election.


Image courtesy of think4photop / FreeDigitalPhotos.net