The YourStory poll on National Voters’ Day — which was on January 25 — resonated across Twitter and became a talking point for almost 36 hours.
Though we took the oft-repeated line from Election Commission officials and politicians that at least 40 percent of youngsters do not vote and gave four options to arrive at reasons, 48 percent of the total responders indicated that they had indeed voted.
We ran the polls from the evening of January 24 till the stroke of midnight on January 25, stating:
“Forty percent of youngsters don’t vote but still criticise the government on social media. We would love to know why! Share your thoughts on National Voters’ Day.”
The results are there for all to see. The poll, which saw huge participation, turned the general perception — that youngsters don’t vote — on its head.
Of the four choices we gave, 48 percent said they did vote! While 11 percent said there was a lack of interest, 26 percent claimed a lack of good candidates and 15 percent said they didn't vote as their names were not on the electoral list.
The government has been celebrating 25 January as National Voters’ Day since 2011 to to mark the founding of the Election Commission of India. The significance of the day is to encourage young voters to take part in the political process.
The objective is to spread awareness among voters regarding active participation in the electoral process, as well as to increase voter enrolment, especially first-timers.
There were lots of interesting opinions aired by those who took part in the YourStory poll.
Sujit Das (@dassujit) said he would not agree with any of the four reasons cited if given a choice. He was goaded on by fellow Twitterati to reveal why and he said since he was staying away from home there should be an e-voting option.
“Lack of knowledge about policies makes them crib all the time…complaint box,” declared Kuldeep Baid (@kuldeepbaid03).
While one person said this 40 percent awaits electronic voting (or a form of e-voting), merely casting a vote isn’t enough. Everyone should strive hard to be responsible — pay taxes, contribute to society, etc., said @zen_rap.
If e-voting is promoted like e-money, then 100 percent will vote, said another. “Anyone with a biometric enabler on their mobile should be allowed to vote. Let AADHAAR be the enabler,” a Mr Kapoor added for good measure.
Akriti Agrawal complained that even after enrolling many times, her name was not on the electoral list, and she did not not know why.
Prajith PV seemed to have the last word when he said it was shocking that more than 10 percent had clicked on “lack of interest” at the time he voted.