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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 9.55 AM IST

First-time voters getting ready to vote in Lok Sabha elections; significant increase in number

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Elections are described as the festival of democracy. However, the question of how many from our young generation are coming to participate in this festival has been raised for some time now. It is a happy thing that there has been a significant increase in the number of first-time voters in Kerala to change that thought. Till January this year, the number of first-time voters registered in the voter list was 288,533 but it has increased to 534,394 in the following three months.

On January 30, we had reported that 70 percent of the new generation had not added their name to the voter list. Following this, the Election Commission brought in celebrities and other people to raise awareness and youth organizations met the maiden voters and urged them to add their names to the voter list. Through that, 245861 additional names were added to the voter list. For the younger generation, there should be some goals that appeal to them. That's a basic thing for them to come down for anything. When corruption and favouritism become rampant in governance, politics and elections become boring for them. However, when the progress and strength of the country are important issues, they will naturally be ready to vote. Youth blood was crucial in influencing the success of the last two national elections. The young generation who volunteered to serve when there was a flood had won the praise of all.

Although the target was to add 50 percent of the existing newcomer votes in Kerala, it crossed 85 percent. Kottayam and Wayanad districts registered more than double the number of voters. The action plan prepared by the Chief Electoral Officer Sanjay M Kaul in consultation with the district officers was successful. The final voter list was prepared after eliminating double votes and errors. Film star Tovino Thomas and singer Nanjiyamma participated in the awareness program to enrol voters. Efforts to reach first-time voters through Electoral Literal Clubs in higher secondary schools and colleges have also been successful. The main attraction was the opportunity to register online. No one seems to bother going to the office and waiting to add their name to the electoral roll.

While efforts are being made by the commission to facilitate the election process, there are also moves from some quarters to carry out misconduct activities by casting fake votes. An example of this is the fake voting case during the vote-from-home procedure at Kasaragod Lok Sabha constituency. A CPM worker and officials who had come to carry out the vote-from-home process for the old woman were caught in the incident. The CCTV footage became a clear evidence. They got caught because they did not remember that modern technology is widespread and cameras are everywhere. Such moves to sabotage the electoral process must be nipped in the bud.

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