Maximising youth voting ­­­ By: Parul Purwar



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11) Facilitating voting

  1. Cars should be allowed till the voting booths.

  2. Before elections form 6 should be circulated in the newspapers.

  3. Voting by post should be allowed for general citizens as well. The facility of voting by post is currently only allowed for military serviceman or diplomats who are abroad. Voting for Non Resident Indians has been started but they also have to be physically present at the polling booth to vote it should be extended for college students. This would be of immense convenience to a college student who is living away from his home constituency.

  4. Booths and submission for voter ID forms should be opened where one gets a license, in banks and in educational institutes.

Suggestions for future work

Information technology has seen immense growth in the past few years. Most of the government works are now being done using computers. Ensuring transparent and smooth elections might be possible with the help of IT. One can look into online elections and mobile voting machines.

Another thing that I could not work on was media corruption and its relation to voter turnout and election results. Media is said to be the 4rth pillar of democracy. It is one way that can make our politicians accountable and honest. Sting operations, scams and other pending cases have been brought to the fore by media and the government has had to take immediate action. Hence one should look into removing media corruption and how that will make a difference to the voter turnout.

Conclusion

The goal of a healthy and working democracy in India will only be realised until and unless the informed youth of India rises up and actively participates in the electoral procedure. The purpose of this project is to ensure that young people are fully enlightened and informed of their right to vote.

Youth participation in Pre-Election Voter Awareness Campaigns will aim at making them and common voters aware of the importance of their participation in the electoral processes, either as educators or motivators and mobilizes, or as voters or candidates.

India continues to grow, and by 2025, the age of an average Indian would be reduced 29 years. Their participation in elections will help hugely a plural society holding the country together. A mass of well informed, alert and active youth can create an environment for free and fair elections, can prevent money and muscle power from derailing elections, can protect democracy from corrupting and degenerating influence of kleptocracy and finally encourage larger participation of marginalized groups such as the poor, the women, the minorities, and special ethnic groups and communities. It will promote more democratic dealings in the political parties.

Thus the young people in India have an enormous potential to work for the advancement of democratic values and practices. They need to be helped in developing themselves both as architect and actors in promoting participatory democracy, as individual voters and as members of their community, as youth organizations and as political and social action groups. Participative democracy believes in involved forms of citizen participation which is different from the traditional representative democracy. It creates opportunities for all members of the society to play their role in making their own government. A strong liberal democracy can emerge only from an equally strong non-governmental public sphere. Young people live, grow and mature in this public sphere.

If educated and aware citizens vote then it will lead to breaking the cycle of corrupt governments. Rather than money or muscle power, the work done in the development of the country will matter while voting. Candidates will be held accountable.Overall it will improve the functioning of the Indian democracy. Once the attitude of voting is established, i.e. if each citizen takes pride in voting and claims ownership of the country than the entire nation will see a major change. Only if every citizen performs his civic duties is he or she entitled to all the rights that a democracy gives.

The ‘mantra’ to promote youth participation has five dimensions, i.e. information, motivation, mobilization, organization and creative action leading to mass engagement in the electoral process. It succeeds only when the actions and initiatives are youth-owned, youth-driven and youth-led. Green shoots of democracy can take roots only through this process.




References:

[1] Voter Turnout Rates from a Comparative Perspective By Rafael López Pintor, Maria Gratschew and Kate Sullivan

[2] http://hbse.nic.in/download_aca/ded/identity_politics.pdf

[3] Institute for democracy and electoral Assistance , http://www.idea.int/

[4]Census of India

[5] NES 2009, http://www.lokniti.org/pdfs_dataunit/questionnaires_2009/nes-2009-post-poll-survey-finding.pdf

[6] NES 2009, http://www.lokniti.org/pdfs_dataunit/questionnaires_2009/nes-2009-post-poll-survey-finding.pdf

[7]India Together, http://www.indiatogether.org/2003/nov/gov-pollrolls.htm

[8] http://www.nssiitd.in/socialawareness

[9]Indian express, http://www.indianexpress.com/news/in-a-first-ec-to-enlist-nss-ncc-volunteers-for-2012-election-duty/851087/

[10] Verba, Schlozman and Brady 1995

[11]Latest report on YUVA, May 3rd 2012, Bhagbanprakash

[12]NES 2009

[13]Latest report on YUVA, May 3rd 2012, Bhagbanprakash

[14]ToI, 14.11.10

[15] Federal Election Commission 2005

[16] Verba, Schlozman and Brady 1995;

[17] Lijphart 1997; Blais 2004

[18] Compulsory Voting in Western Europe -Maria Gratschew

[19] CEPS Working Document No. 317/July 2009,Anthoula Malkopoulou

[20] Young Voter Registration and Turnout Trends, Circle, February 2008

[21] Young Voter Registration and Turnout Trends, Circle, February 2008

[22] http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/thepoliticalsystem/a/youthvote2004.htm

[23] http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=808

[24] Alex Stutz and Louise Atki ,Re-engaging Young People in Voting Learning from the evidence, local government group.

[25]Census of India

Appendix A

Field Visit Report



Field Visit Form

 

Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           18 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

A.1. Field Visit No.: 1`

If more Trips required to the same organization:  No

 Goal of the visit:



  1. To get an idea of how SVEEP activities were carried out in Kanpur

  2. What measures were taken to ensure safe elections.

Goals Met:

1.I got an overview of how SVEEP is conducted

2. He explained what new initiatives had been taken up by the govt. to increase voter awareness

3.He talked about the measure to ensure that elections went without a hitch.



Persons Met(*)1. Name: Shailendra Singh

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 30 min

Details of the Discussion:

  • Private vehicles were allowed till the polling booths.

  • Before elections schools and colleges were targeted under SVEEP to increase youth voter registration. Colleges had started supplying form 6 with their admission forms.

  • Every individual had gotten a photo pehchanpatr.

  • Voter slips were issued unlike previous elections

A.2. : Field Visit Form

Student Name:           Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Date of the Visit:           19 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 2

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit:



  1. To get the data for youth voters in Kanpur.

Goals Met:

1. I got the data

2. Got an in depth knowledge of the procedure to get an EPIC

Persons Met (*)

1. Name:            DEO, Kanpur Nagar

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 200 min

Details of the Discussion:


  • For a new voter form 6 is filled. It can be downloaded online. No documents are needed; an address proof may or may not be attached. It is the booth level officer’s work to verify.

  • The submission is done at the office or the booths allotted for the same.

  • Since the procedure is manual, discrepancies occur photos might get mixed up. This results in problems during the issuing of EPIC and for the BLO.

  • It is tough to trace the status of the form.

  • There is no link up between the different cities for voter information

  • Continuation updating does not occur.

  • Corruption is pre dominant in the election dept. for the issuing of EPIC

  • Showed me a few examples of the inefficiency

  • Gave me the statistical for Kanpur elections.

A.3. Field Visit Form

Student Name:           Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Date of the Visit:           22 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 3

If more Trips required to the same organization:   Yes/No

No

 Goal of the visit:

To know what brought about the 15% increase in Uttar Pradesh Elections.

Persons Met (*)

1. Name:    Umesh Sinha SIR

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 200 min

Details of the Discussion:


  • He emphasized the importance of each vote

  • Highlighted the communication gap between the government agencies and the common man

  • Showed the SVEEP activities in Bulandshahar

  • Talked about de duplication

  • Gave the data for increase in the 18-19 age group from 2010 to 2012.

A.4. Field Visit Form

 Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           25 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 4

If more Trips required to the same organization:   Yes

 Goal of the visit:



  • The purpose of the meeting was to ask him how to proceed with conducting a survey. The survey will be conducted among the university student. It aims to test their political awareness.

Goals Met:

Submitted my questionnaire to the university, it will be circulated amongst the students.



Persons Met (*)

1. Name: Dr. K.N.Mishra, NSS Head of Kanpur University

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 60 min

Details of the Discussion:

  • The purpose of the meeting was to ask him how to proceed with conducting a survey. The survey will be conducted among the university student. It aims to test their political awareness.

  • He recommended talking to Hindustan ( a Hindi Daily) to see the role of media during elections.

  • I submitted my questionnaire and will be going back to university after the 1st of July to meet the students.

.

A.5. Field Visit Form

 

Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           28 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 5

If more Trips required to the same organization:   Yes/No

Yes

 Goal of the visit:



  • The purpose of the event was that to know what role media played in the Recent Elections.

Goals Met:

Got to know about the campaigns conducted by HT and Hindustan regarding the same.



Persons Met (*)

  1. Name: Met with Akanksha ( reporter ) in Hindustan Times

  2. Name :Jyoti (reporter) in Hindustan

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 90 min

Details of the Discussion:

  • The purpose of the event was that to know what role media played in the Recent Elections

  • Hindustan time and HT had started a campaign called “ Aao Rajneeti Karo”

  • This campaign was aimed at removing the negativity associated with the elections and politics as a whole.

  • They had conclaves, campus addas and ran a know your candidates series.

  • The first thing they started with was to inform people about media ethics. This they did to clear people’s doubts about whether the information was doctored or real.

  • They claimed that these campaigns made people aware voters.

A.6 . Field Visit Form

 

Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           31 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 6

If more Trips required to the same organization:   Yes/No

No

 Goal of the visit:

To get the youth voter turnout data for last general elections

Goals Met:

I got the data for the voter turnout for the last general elections



Persons Met (*)

1. Name: Harpal Singh Programmer, ECI

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 20 min

Details of the Discussion:

I had called before hand and thus the whole procedure did not take much time. Mr. Singh was busy so I couldn’t discuss the data with him.



A.7. Field Visit Form

 Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           1 June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 7

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit:

To talk to

Goals Met:

To get an Idea about the voter turnout trends in India



Persons Met (*)

1. Name: Banasmita Bora ( CSDS team, Lokniti)

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 90 min

Details of the Discussion:

  1. Survey : since I have been asked to conduct a survey in the Kanpur university , to know about the impact of Systematic Voters’ Education And Electoral Participation (S.V.E.E.P) I asked her about the methodology which they use while surveying for CSDS. She talked about the probabilistic proportionate to size sampling. I.e., that I should interview or talk to more people in the sector which represents a larger section of society. This would give me a better insight.



  1. She talked about the increasing awareness of people who believe in the importance of political parties. She sees that as an encouraging trend. If people believe in a party or dislike a particular political party they will go out and vote.

Increasing number of people are participating in the election campaigning. This shows an increase in voter awareness

  1. She compared the urban and rural scenario. Many people have become resigned to their way of life I urban areas. They don’t believe that any major change will occur due to their voting. On the other hand, rural India wants and change and voting is one way in which they can contribute towards it.

A.8. Field Visit Form

 

Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           7th June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

Visit No.: 2

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit:

To interact and talk to people working for the mayor’s election.

Goals Met:

1. I got knowledge of how to approach the problem of voter turnout at the ground level.



Persons Met (*)

1. Name: Capt. S.C .Tripathi and Ganesh Tiwari

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 120 min

Details of the Discussion:

They had started an initiative called Kasauti composed of people from political parties, social organisations, NGO’s, RWAs and those people who believe in clean politics.

They believed that the elected person should not be chosen on the basis of caste, creed and religion but on his or her worthiness.

Their mission was to



  1. Encourage voters to vote

  2. Get people who ate good and able to stand for elections.

  3. And to try to help these people win.

They tried to reach all the social organisations who work for city development. They wanted them to join with their forum so as to increase the reliability of the forum. They went to 110 wards in the city. They took each ward up individually and got the data for each candidate that was standing. They then put it up online for the people to see. This initiative proved redundant as the election commission was already taking steps in this direction. Then they analyzed the candidates and prepared a synopsis and rated them.

The challenges they arose were



  1. Why will people listen to them and vote for the candidates that they suggest?

  2. How to ensure that the people they support are the right ones?

  3. What are the responsibilities of a good representative? What are the qualities that he/she should have?

  4. The problems that can arise are that the political parties might object to this initiative.

  5. How to get people out and vote

A.9. Field Visit Form

 Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           12 May 2012

Suggested/Referred By: N.A.

If more Trips required to the same organization:   yes

 Goal of the visit: To get to know the background of my project and how to approach it.



Persons Met (*)

1.Name: Met with Smt. Sumita Mishra Ma’am( mentor)

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 45 min

Details of the Discussion:

  • She told me about the new initiatives taken by the ECI to increase voter percentage in India. We discussed reasons for why the youth in India does not participate in the elections.

  • Ma’am informed me about the positive trend in Uttar Pradesh elections and asked me to take a closer look into it.

  • She told me about ongoing SVEEP activities.

Ma’am suggested that I should meet Umesh Sinha Sir ( CEO  UP) and talk to him regarding my projectat

A.10 Field Visit Form

Student Name:           Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           20th June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: Rohit Agarwal

Visit No.: 9

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit:

To understand how online voting can be done and whether it is feasible

Goals Met:

He explained the pros and cons of e- voting and how it can be conducted in great detail.



Persons Met (*)

1. Name: Prof.Y.N.Singh ( IIT Kanpur, Dept of electrical engineering)

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 30 min

Details of the Discussion:

He suggested that online voting can be done using open source software as this will decrease the total cost involved. He suggested the E.C.I should make a java applet for all to download and use for e voting.

The next step would be to establish a secure channel to prevent hacking. He talked about various ways of hacking such as SQL injection, cross site scripting and opening of ports.

When asked whether software can be made to start online voting in India, he replied in the affirmative. His only concern was that if the E.C.I was partisan and favoured a particular political party then it could easily manipulate the voting done.



A.11 Field Visit Form

Student Name:           Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           21th June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: Sumita Mishra Ma’am

Visit No.: 10

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit:

To talk about urban voter apathy and get views on my recommendations

Goals Met:

He explained in great detail how E.C.I has designed the program to counteract the voter apathy in India and gave some suggestions in regard to my recommendations.



Persons Met (*)

1. Name: Akshay Raut (Director General, E.C.I)

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 50 min

Details of the Discussion:

He said that:



  • In India 75 crore people vote and that is a thing to be proud of but on the other hand 30 crores don’t vote.

  • We have 1.3 million voting machines (EVM)

  • The lack of participation is reflected in two ways

    1. Not all people are registered as voters

    2. And out of those who are not all come to vote.

  • Participation of women is less in general.

  • North east India has a higher turnout due to the following reasons :

    1. Not much urban population

    2. Higher stakes in the government

    3. Smaller population and hence the candidates can reach out to everyone.

    4. Each vote counts as the competition is more close

  • The election commission conducted KABP (knowledge attitude Behaviour Practices) in every state before elections. it was first started in Jharkhand

  • They identified three major problems.

  1. Information gap

  2. Motivation gap

  3. Facilitation gap

  • To counteract these, the E.C.I took the help of NGO’s, schools, colleges and youth organisations.

  • The election commission had already sidelined compulsory voting. They weren’t considering it at all.

  • One major initiative that they took was the NVD (National Voter’s Day) which they hold on the 25th of January .It was started in 2010.

  1. In 2010 1.7 crore people were enrolled, 52 Lakh were in the age group 18-19.

  2. In 2011, 3.8 crores, out of which 1.11 crore were in the age group 18-19.

  • My recommendations were

  1. have an online database :It will be done

  2. Have buses running from schools and colleges: if a college asks for it, it can be arranged.

  3. Have localised FB groups: can be done in collaboration with NSS.

  4. Form 6 can be made available with licenses.

A.12 Field Visit Form

Student Name:           Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           21th June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: Akshay Raut

Visit No.: 11

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit: To get to know how YUVA was designed



Goals Met: He gave me the analysis which he had worked on

Persons Met (*): Dr. Bhagban Prakash (Senior Advisor, E.C.I)

1. Name: Duration and Timings of Discussion: 10 min

Discussion:

Sir gave me his work to read and suggested that once I had gone through it; I could mail him any questions that I had.

Appendix B

Fig. and Tables other than what you have used in main body.



A.13 Field Visit Form

Student Name:           Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           21th June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: Sumita Mishra Ma’am

Visit No.: 12

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit: To talk about urban voter apathy



Persons Met (*):

1. Name: Vinod Zutschi (Deputy Commissioner, E.C.I)

Duration and Timings of Discussion: 120 min

Discussions

Reasons for urban apathy: voters don’t depend on the political system in urban area, Accessibility is lesser, locals passions are not involved, urban population does not want to step out of their comfort zone, Locating a polling station is tougher in cities, there is a lack of publicity which results in a disconnect among people and the running of a govt.

There may be other reasons for not voting, ones which may affect the voters livelihood. Like exams, agricultural season, etc. Hence dates on which to conduct elections should be carefully chosen.

The regional disparity also comes into play, the family, society, religious beliefs and moral obligations. For example people in West Bengal are passionate about their rights and they will take the extra step to go out there and vote.

To counteract the low registration rates, E.C.I has started house to house surveying. It involves identifying all those eligible to vote, and providing them with the form. A problem that arises here is that many people aren’t ready to even fill the form

What is the use of the voter slip? It is used to facilitate voting. It tells one the location of one’s polling booth, the date of elections and the time. It also tells one the serial number in the electoral roll and can serve as an identity proof as now it also has your photo.

Online registration can’t be made completely online as it will result in many fake voters ID’s .A BLO has to confirm your place of residence, age and everything before an ID card can be issued.

Election expenditure monitoring is done by having two parallel registers. One maintained BT the SEC and the other by candidate. They are checked and verified. If a well wisher spends more than Rs. 10 it is added to the candidate’s expense.

In UP form 6 was published in the newspaper.

A.14 Field Visit Form

 Student Name:           Parul Purwar



Project ID: 19

Mentor Name:              Smt. Sumita Mishra

Intern ID:                        14

Date of the Visit:           24th June 2012

Suggested/Referred By: Rohit

Visit No.: 13

If more Trips required to the same organization:   No

 Goal of the visit: To get feedback on my report and what areas I could work on



Goals Met: She suggested a few areas where I could look into

Persons Met (*): Preeti Goel Ma’am, Senior Researcher,Rakshak

1. Name: Duration and Timings of Discussion: 180 min

Discussion:

  1. I suggested that we could have an option of voting on problems while we vote for the candidates. And the top most voted problems should be taken up by the candidate who won. If he doesn’t solve them within his tenure than he should be barred from contesting for 2 elections in any constituency.

  2. Societies should be forced to participate in the functioning of RWA’s.

  3. NGO’s should be involved at the kid’s level to get them to participate in the activities around them.

  4. There should be increased interaction between college students, like college leaders and people who are participating in student politics and school kids.

  5. Increased interaction of people with civil servants (willing ) should take place to remove the disconnect between people and the govt.

  6. Career consciousness, for IPS , IAS should be brought up.

  7. An equal emphasis should be on right and duties, not just on rights.

  8. It should be made compulsory to come to the polling booth. And if one doesn’t want to vote then one should put that down in writing.

  9. File an RTI to figure out how the whole procedure of no voting occurs.

A

APPENDIX B : A SAMPLE WEBPAGE FOR A CONTESTING CANDIDATE

Sample page

NAME OF CANDIDATE





Biographical Information

NAME OF THE CONSTITUENCY

SPOUSE

AGE


PLACE OF RESIDENCE

POLITICAL PARTY



Educational Qualifications

MATRICULATION SCHOOL AND YEAR

INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL AND YEAR

COLLEG/ DEGREE/BRANCH



Legal Records

ACCUSED (DETAILS)

CONVICTED

Financial Information

MOVABLE ASSETS

IMMOVABLE ASSSETS

LIABILITY



Political history (for each constituency)

  1. THE CONSTITUENCY HE CONTESTED FROM

  2. WHICH PARTY HE CONTESTED FOR

  3. WHETHER HE WON OR LOST



  1. MP DEVELOPMENT FUNDS GIVEN AND USED. ( YEAR)



  1. STATUS OF RECOMMENDED WORKS (YEAR)



6)THE AMOUNT OF PARLIAMENT SESSIONS UPLOADED

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