politics

Election Commission wants to track government and private employees who take leave and don’t vote

Government and private employees on leave who don't vote will be tracked.

Through its local district election officers, the Election Commission will request that government departments, PSUs, and private companies appoint nodal officers to monitor employees who fail to vote.
In an effort to combat voter apathy in urban areas, the Election Commission (EC) will write to all Union and state government departments, central and state PSUs, and private companies with over 500 employees to monitor the number of employees who take special casual leave on election day but do not vote.

ELECTION

Through its local district election officers, the EC will request that government departments, PSUs, and private companies appoint nodal officers who will monitor employees who fail to vote. “We would then urge employers to send employees who did not vote to special voter education workshops organized by the EC.” The objective is to combat voter apathy, particularly in urban areas, said an unnamed senior EC official.

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“It is regrettable that people are taking leave but not voting. No one wants to be identified for not voting. The official added, “We hope that the act of being identified and sent to a workshop for not voting will discourage apathy.”

According to Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act of 1951, every registered voter employed in any business, trade, industrial undertaking, or other establishment who is eligible to vote in a Parliament or Assembly election must be granted a paid holiday for the purpose of voting. According to Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881, the state and federal governments always declare election day as a paid holiday.

According to EC data, voter apathy in urban areas is severe despite widespread knowledge of voting rights. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, 67.40% of registered voters participated in the electoral process. The constituencies with the highest voter turnout were Dhubri (Assam), Bishnupur (West Bengal), and Arunachal East, with 90.66 percent, 87.34 percent, and 87.03 percent, respectively. In contrast, urban constituencies such as Srinagar (14.43%), Anantnag (8.98%), Hyderabad (44.84%), and Patna Sahib (45.70%) had lower voter turnout.

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ELECTION

“In addition, we have instructed all district election officers/returning officers to identify at least five polling stations with the lowest voter turnout in each Assembly district. They will visit these polling stations to identify factors contributing to low voter turnout and to implement targeted interventions to mitigate the factors impeding the voting process, according to the official.

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