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Monday, September 01, 2014  

Sveep brings more youth, women to vote
NEW DELHI Greater numbers of people, particularly youth and women, are registering as voters and casting their ballots in India’s elections, thanks to the Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (Sveep) programme, the Election Commission (EC) says.

A well-planned strategy to expand the voter base in India, the world’s largest democracy, and ensure better polling percentages by involving the state governments and roping in popular cultural icons has borne fruit.

“There has been a consistent increase in voter registration and voter turnout in assembly elections in the past three years,” EC director general Akshay Raut said. According to the EC, voter registration, especially among youth, has gone up from 10-15 per cent to 30-35 per cent since 2010 and polling percentages have shown a northward trend.

“States like West Bengal (2011), Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, Puducherry and Himachal Pradesh (all 2012) recorded historically high voter turnouts. Women voters outnumbered men in the five states which went to the elections in February-March this year,” said Raut. Data shows that polling percentages increased in 2012 from the previous elections - in Punjab from 75.45 per cent to 78.57 per cent, in Uttarakhand from 59.45 per cent to 69.89 per cent, in Uttar Pradesh from 45.96 per cent to 59.50 per cent, in Goa from 70.51 per cent to 82.83 per cent and in West Bengal from 81.97 per cent to 84.20 per cent. Himachal Pradesh, which went to the polls on November 4, registered 74.66 per cent, up three per cent from 71.49 per cent in 2007.

Indo-Asian News Service
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