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Sunday, July 14 2024

Bengaluru’s Poor Voter Turnout: Causes and Concerns

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In the recent Lok Sabha elections held in Bengaluru city, voter turnout remained disappointingly low across the three segments. Despite turnout figures being consistent with previous elections, the lackluster participation is attributed to various factors that hindered the electoral process and discouraged citizens from exercising their democratic right.

1. Absence of Door-to-Door Campaigning: Both BJP and Congress election managers acknowledge that urban voter apathy stems from candidates’ neglect of door-to-door campaigning. Many voters felt overlooked and disengaged due to the absence of personal interaction with candidates.

2. Impact of Extreme Heat: The soaring temperatures during the elections acted as a deterrent, especially for families with elderly members. Reports of people falling ill or dying during or after voting further discouraged voter turnout.

3. Long Weekend Effect: Conducting polls on a Friday, creating a long weekend, led many to prioritize leisure activities over voting, diminishing the significance of civic duty.

4. Urban Lifestyle and Migrant Population: Bengaluru’s urban lifestyle and significant migrant population contributed to voter apathy, with some residents feeling disconnected from local politics.

5. Perceived Inefficiencies in Governance: Issues related to governance inefficiencies or corruption also influenced voter turnout negatively.

6. Electoral Process Challenges: Problems with voter registration and management, including missing names from rolls and discrepancies in polling station allocations, caused confusion and potential disenfranchisement among voters.

7. Lack of Voter Awareness: Insufficient voter awareness about candidates and the importance of voting also played a role in the low turnout.

8. Issues with Voter Slips: Failure to distribute voter slips and errors in voter rolls, such as duplication and mismatched entries, added to the chaos and confusion at polling stations.

Overall, the combination of these factors highlights the need for comprehensive reforms in the electoral process to enhance voter participation and ensure the integrity of democratic practices in Bengaluru.

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