Some more thoughts on the poor turnout – and what we can do to change the situation:
- Heat, etc.: There may have been other factors at work. April-May are India’s hottest months, and this year has seen above average temperatures. But I don’t think that a determined voter will be kept away by heat. After all, it is not that hot early mornings!
- Digital Voting: I think that it is time India considers e-voting and m-voting options seriously. We have perfected the use of electronic voting machines. Now, we need to take the next step to consider how Internet and mobile voting can become part of the system. This way, even if I am not in the city, I can cast my vote. This will also give millions of NRIs who are not permanently settled abroad an opportunity to vote.
- Voting should ke kept Optional: I don’t think voting should be made mandatory as some have suggested. Voting is a right, and people need to make their individual decision whether to exercise it or not. What the State needs to do is to remove every possible hurdle in their ability to vote. And that still needs more work.
A combination of a simpler process, better technology and a more engaged political system can definitely lead to increased urban voting percentages.