Lok Sabha elections 2019: Number of new voters down in Delhi
The Election Commission of India on Sunday announced that around 15 million new voters across the country between the ages of 18 and 19 have been added to the electoral roll. The number of new voters in the national capital, however, remains much less compared to the last general elections.
The number of voters in the 18-19 age-group in Delhi’s electoral roll is just over a lakh, as per the data provided by Delhi’s chief electoral officer (CEO) Ranbir Singh last month. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the number of such voters was around 3.37 lakh.
According to officials in the CEO’s office, since the voter list will now constantly be updated till the elections and the numbers are likely to increase. Until Sunday evening, the total number of first-time voters was 1.55 lakh.
Delhi, with a population of over 10 million, of which nearly 4-6 lakh people are aged 18 and 19 years, the CEO office had stated earlier. “Even though we are getting number of requests from people in 18-19 age group to enrol, the number of new voters still remains low. Elections to the Lok Sabha have been announced and while Delhi still has time to go to polls, I urge all the young voters to enrol with us by March-end and exercise their right to vote,” said, Ranbir Singh, CEO, Delhi.
Singh said that because the last day of nomination is April 23, the CEO’s office will accept forms for new voters until two weeks before the nomination.
Around 13.6 million people enrolled in the electoral rolls in Delhi will vote for the seven Lok Sabha seats on May 12. Of these, 61,38,335 will be women while 75,56,146 will be men. During the last election in 2014, there were 12.7 million voters. The number of total voters since has risen by 7.78%, as per data released by the CEO office. The number of women voters since has shown a better increase from 56, 59,252 to 61,38,335.
Like 2014, the elections in Delhi will be conducted in a single phase across 2,696 polling locations. The number of polling locations was 2,670 previously. The number of polling stations across the city have also been increased to 13,816 from 13,418 earlier.
Of the seven parliamentary constituencies in Delhi, Matiala assembly constituency — part of the West Delhi constituency — is the largest in terms of electors. The area has a large number of slums and unauthorised colonies as well as villages lacking basic civic amenities such as sewer lines, water connections and proper roads.
According to experts, young voters form an overall important cohort , as they are well-informed and usually do not have any political baggage. In Delhi, young voters mostly from institutions with active student politics come out to vote.
“New voters can drift to any direction, purely based on their own choices. However, in a city like Delhi it may not have as significant an impact as it may have in a state like Uttar Pradesh,” said Rakesh Mehta, former CEO and chief secretary, Delhi.
The CEO’s office has organised voter awareness drives and camps across universities and other higher education institutes in the city. The prominent political parties contesting elections each time have their respective youth wings who mobilise young voters through outreach programmes and during student elections.