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Election Commission of India to Convene Conference Addressing Low Voter Turnout

New Delhi: In a pioneering move aimed at bolstering voter participation, the Election Commission of India (ECI) is set to host a conference with Municipal Commissioners and selected District Election Officers from 11 states with historically low voter turnouts.

Scheduled for April 5th, 2024, at Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi, the conference marks a significant step towards addressing the challenge of voter apathy and devising targeted strategies to enhance voter participation in the upcoming General Elections to Lok Sabha 2024.

Led by Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, along with Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, the conference aims to deliberate on the underlying factors contributing to low voter turnout in certain urban and rural areas. It will also focus on formulating tailored action plans to combat this issue effectively.

Urban apathy and migration from rural areas have been identified as key reasons for low voter participation, as highlighted by CEC Sh. Rajiv Kumar in recent discussions surrounding assembly elections.

Eleven states and union territories, including Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand, Telangana, Gujarat, Punjab, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, and Jharkhand, reported lower than the national average of 67.40% in the 2019 General Elections to Lok Sabha.

Among the identified areas with low voter turnout, 17 were located in metropolitan areas or major cities, underscoring a concerning trend of urban disengagement from the electoral process.

Moreover, over 50 rural polling constituencies across nine states with the lowest voter turnout have been earmarked for focused deliberations to identify specific challenges and formulate strategies to augment polling percentages.

The conference will witness the participation of Municipal Commissioners from prominent cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Thane, Nagpur, Patna Sahib, Lucknow, and Kanpur. Additionally, select District Election Officers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will be in attendance.

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