Number of young and first-time voters in Thane has decreased
The district election commission might have managed to increase the number of voters for the Assembly elections, but the number of young and first-time voters has decreased.
Not even one percent of the total voters registered are in the age group of 18-19 years. The largest number of voters is in the age group of 35 to 50 years.
As per the 2011 Census, the projected population of youngsters who would be above 18 years by January 2019 was 3.5 lakh . The election commission said they were hoping around 2 lakh new voters to register during the registration drive in September and October but only 43,758 names have been added to the list.
An election officer from Thane district said, “The final voter’s list has 43,758 voters in the age group of 18-19 years and 8,99,352 voters in the age group of 20-29 years.”
The largest number of names registered is in the middle-aged group.
“There are more than 15 lakh voters in the age group of 40 to 49 and more than 14 lakh voters in the age group of 30-39, which is mostly the working population in the city. The statistics shows that the lowest registration is in the new voter category,” he said.
The district election commission started registering young voters two years ago. Campus ambassadors were trained to help guide youngsters. Social media was also used to create awareness among youngsters.
The number of young voters in 2017 was 59,000, which is much more than this year.
Aniruddha Ashtaputre, district information officer, said, “We did not undertake any special drive last year for increasing the number of young voters. The drive which started in 2017 to appoint campus ambassadors continued last year too. We also conducted a door-to-door registration drive last year.”
The booth-level officials went door to door for six months. “Most voters who were in 18-19 age groups are in above-20 category,” he added.
Colleges said most youngsters are too young to know the importance of voting.
Chandrashekhar Marathe, principal of Dyansadhana College in Thane, said, “We conducted two to three awareness programmes on voter’s registration in our college. Initially, there was lack of interest among the students to attend the event or get themselves registered. Most of them are not interested in the political scenario.”
The youngsters have several reasons for not featuring on the voter’s list.
Shasmita Loke, 18, a resident of Kharegaon, said, “I filled up the voter’s registration form last year. However, my name did not appear on the list. I don’t know if there were mistakes on the form, but did not try to reapply. I will try registering in the next drive.”
Satish Phatak, 19, a resident of Kalwa, missed the registration process. “But, I will get myself registered on voter’s list before the elections.”
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