November 29, 2014

Guilty of not voting

Visiting Fellow Praveen Chakravartywrites in The Indian Express: "The Gujarat government promulgated an amendment to its Local Authorities Laws Bill that now makes it mandatory for voters in Gujarat to vote in local body elections."

Excerpts below:

"... in the three elections held in Gujarat since 2009... of the 115 million eligible voters, 70 million actually voted. Forty-five million (115 minus 70) non-voters, equal to the entire population of South Africa, are hence prone to punishment... However, as per our estimates, there should have been only 93 to 96 million eligible voters between the 2009 and 2014 elections, not 115 million. The database of eligible voters, as determined by the EC, is fraught with errors and inconsistencies... The root of this problem lies in the inability of the EC to accurately identify the dead, remove voters who have relocated and add new voters just once... The foundation for a mandatory voting law is an error-free list of eligible voters and actual voters."

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