In 2014, the highest recorded voter turnout was 66.4%. The sorry state of participation of citizens of this country can affect the political scenario of this country in a wrong way. The voters' turnout for the Lok Sabha elections in the last decade has been lower than 70%; this means that about one-third of the population doesn't cast their vote. The fault lies both with civilians as well as the leaders. The public is driven hugely by their religious beliefs, which diverts the agendas of political parties running for different positions in the Lok Sabha to segregating the votes and appealing to a set of people with specific religious beliefs. This affects the country's development adversely. For the last decade, the politics in India is based on religious segregation and not robust policy-making which implies that the general electoral integrity has been compromised.
Reasons Why Everyone Should Vote
Voting is a Basic Right
A democratic setup is built on the foundation of people's participation. Electing a representative who would identify and give practical solutions to the deep-rooted problems of the country. The Constitution has granted exclusive rights to every citizen for making his/her voice heard.
You Can Become an Agent of Change
Your vote can make a huge difference in the election results. If you're someone who is unhappy with the functioning of the current government or are unsatisfied with its policy-making techniques, then you can make use of your vote to cast them out of the governance. More often, people don't realize that elections are the only time they can exercise their power. Even if someone doesn't like any of the candidates, they can select NOTA.
Your Vote Counts
Each vote counts. It is the responsibility of every individual of the society to participate in the elections so that the elected government represents a majority of people in the country
Government of India has also made provisions for voters to exercise their right to vote even when they do not prefer any of the candidates. It is the right of every eligible voter to select the option NOTA if they aren't satisfied with the candidates who are contesting for the elections.
Indians have struggled to get their freedom from the Britishers. The Britishers were not considered to be great rulers because of their autocratic ruling style. It is evident that our country knows what price has to be paid if a country is ruled by a government which implements crudely examined policies.
How Do Elections Work?
Officials are elected from the local level to the state level and ultimately to the federal level. We have two houses of Parliament; Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Lok Sabha is the lower house of the Indian Parliament and it is also known as the House of the People. The members of Lok Sabha are elected through General Elections and these elections take place every five years. The President of India appoints two members of the Lok Sabha. Presently, the Lok Sabha has 545 members. Two of the members represent the Anglo-Indian community and the rest 543 members are elected on a five-year basis. The upper house of the Parliament is known as Rajya Sabha or the Council of States. The members of the Council of States are elected by the State Legislative Assemblies and the Electoral College of Union Territories. Hence, the members of Lok Sabha are directly elected by the people, and the people indirectly elect the members of Rajya Sabha. Rajya Sabha has 245 members. Out of the 245 members, 233 members are elected for 6-year terms. Every two years, one-third of the house retires.
Lok Sabha is lower house of Parliament and the members of Lok Sabha elect the Prime Minister.
President of India serves a tenure of 5 years by the electoral college which consists of the members of the State and Federal Legislatures.
Process of Elections
To ensure the smooth functioning of the elections, the ECI was formed. The EC takes care of everything related to the elections which include the superintendence, control and direction of the polls. Described below is a summary of the process of voting that you need to know:
Register on the Electoral roll, which is a list of the eligible voters of a particular constituency. You can also apply online at VRECs at designated locations or by contacting the Booth Level Officer.
A voter ID will be issued to you which can be used as a form of identification in the polling booth.
It is the responsibility of the civilians to learn about all the candidates who are standing for elections.
The electors also must locate the polling booth.
You can vote on the Electronic Voting Machine or the EVM.
If the only language you speak is English, then you must familiarize yourself with the symbols of the party that your preferred candidate is representing.
Press the button next to the candidate that you wish to vote for.
You can also choose NOTA if you don't wish to vote for any of the candidates.
Your left index finger is inked by the officials to identify people who have already voted.