Elections do not appeal to Ahmedabad’s youth, and voting is not their “top priority.” It appears that the youth prefer to “worry” about their academic and personal futures rather than performing their once-every-five-years duty as Indian citizens. Many of the young people interviewed by Mirror stated that studying and settling abroad is their top priority.
According to the most recent Election Commission data, only 29.11% of those in the 18-19 age group in Ahmedabad have registered to vote this time, compared to the state average of 43.91%. This equates to only 93,428 new registered voters versus 3,20,039 eligible voters in Ahmedabad.
The state figures, while slightly better, show that only 11,74,370 of the total 26,74,739 eligible voters as of the Projected Census have registered to vote. When asked why they registered when they do not intend to vote, the majority of young voters said it is to obtain “a valid identity document.”
Ahmedabad Collector Dhaval Patel said, “We had initially made efforts to get youth to get registered by appointing campus ambassadors. The stage of enlisting voters is now over and the focus is on voter turnout. We held flash mobs and other programmes to attract new voters to vote. We have also sent out voter slips to them to ensure they have the right information about where they can vote.”
Additional Collector and chief of All Voters Spirited Aware and Responsible (AVSAR) Rinkesh Patel said, “The authorities held flash mob at Urban Chowk where Bhavya Gandhi of ‘Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma’ fame sang a rap song in Gujarati to exhort new voters to register and vote. We opened up registration for youngsters on four occasions this year.”