ECI wants employers to track workers taking leave, not voting
The Election Commission of India (ECI) intends to propose a tracking mechanism for employees who use special leave on election day, but do not vote. It will write to government agencies, public sector units, and private firms with over 500 employees on this subject. The ECI is also considering recommending to the government the appointment of nodal officials in each department for the job.
Aim of the proposal is to tackle voter apathy: ECI
A top ECI official told The Indian Express that staff who did not vote will be sent to special awareness seminars. "The aim is to tackle voter apathy," he said. "It's unfortunate that people are availing leave but do not cast their vote. We hope the act of being identified and sent for a workshop will discourage apathy (sic)," he added.
Special provisions for availing paid holiday on election day
Section 135B of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, provides every registered voter working in any company, trade, industrial activity, or other institution a paid holiday for the purpose of voting in Assembly and Parliament elections. The state and central administrations usually declare election day a paid holiday under Section 25 of the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881.
Low voter turnout in urban areas despite awareness
Despite strong awareness of voting rights, voter indifference is extreme in urban areas, according to ECI data. With 90.66%, 87.34%, and 87.03%, respectively, Dhubri (Assam), Bishnupur (West Bengal), and Arunachal East witnessed the highest voter turnout in 2019. In contrast, turnout was lower in urban seats like Srinagar (14.43%), Anantnag (8.98%), Hyderabad (44.84%), and Patna Sahib (45.80%).
EC considering remote voting for migrant voters in India
On Tuesday, the Commission said that a committee will be set up to examine the issues of migrant voters, including exploring possibilities of remote voting after consultations with all stakeholders including political parties and electors. "The Commission felt that time has come to explore possibilities of remote voting, maybe on a pilot basis," the ECI said.