Availability of voter enrolment forms while seeking admission in colleges will ease the woes of youth who find it difficult to register their names in voter list.
Mumbaikars are pleased with the election commission’s directive asking colleges to enrol students as voters at the time of obtaining admission. According to them this step will create awareness among youth about the importance of voting. Even though a person is eligible to vote after attaining the age of 18 years many of them are unable to exercise their franchise as their names don’t figure in voter lists. Many of them are unaware about the voter registration process and don’t know where to enrol themselves. Even those who have enrolled their names have to run from pillar to post to ensure whether their names appear in the voting lists.
Sometimes youth are unable to find their names in the voter list despite submitting the forms to electoral registration officer of their ward. Many youth find the registration activity a tedious process as they have to fill up forms and submit the necessary documents like identity and address proof hence they don’t come forward to register their names. While some others who have migrated to Mumbai from others cities are unable to register their names in voter list as they lack local address proof which is necessary for enrolment. Moreover, the lackadaisical attitude of the enrolment officers makes the registration process cumbersome for aspiring voters.
Sudhir Sonawane a Borivali resident said, “I have been trying to enrol my name in the voter list. However, I have been finding it difficult to register my name as the electoral registration officer has been asking me to come after two days. When I had gone to the office for registration process, they didn’t accept my forms.”
Sameer Wankhede a TYBsc student from Malad said, “I appreciate the election commission’s circular asking colleges to issue voter enrolment forms to students when they seek admission. This process will ease the woes of youth who are finding it difficult to enrol their names in the voter list.”
Rajesh Doshi a FY Bcom student from Kandivali said, “Already the election commission has been taking various steps to increase voting percentage like appealing people to come forward and register their names in voter list. They also had created awareness among people by releasing advertisements in newspapers, hoardings and local trains. Thus the election commission has taken a proactive step to increase voter enrolment.”
The enrolment of first time voters accounts for 33% of the population within.
“We will inquire with students who have completed 18 years of age to ascertain if they have enrolled themselves as voters. In case they have not been enrolled we will ask them to register their names. Officials will assist students to fill up the voter registration forms,” said Shirish Mohod, Deputy Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).
“College principals have been appointed as nodal officers to collect the enrolment forms. After students submit the forms to colleges they will have to forward the same to collectors,” he added.