The Telegraph
Friday , February 21 , 2014
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New voters to play vital role

Shillong, Feb. 20: The young voters of Meghalaya in the age group of 18-19 years could play a vital role in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls scheduled to be held in April-May.

The reason is because in Meghalaya, of 15,53,028 electors as on February 14, there are 63,018 voters who belong to the age group of 18-19 years.

Electors in this age group constitute 4.1 per cent of the total number of voters, which is higher than the national average of 2.8 per cent, an official release today stated.

Voters who are above 19 years stand at 14,90,010 or 95.9 per cent of the total electors.

For those who are preparing to try their luck in the Lok Sabha electoral battle, they better motivate these newly enrolled voters, as they could be the ultimate deciders.

According to the data of Census 2011, the state has a total population of 29,64,007, which is an increase of 6,45,185 from 2001. In 2001, Meghalaya’s population stood at 23,18,822. The state also recorded the highest decadal growth (27.82 per cent) among all the northeastern states.

In last year’s Assembly polls, there were 15,03,907 voters comprising 7,44,299 men and 7,59,608 women. However, though the figure is 63,018, a majority of the young voters do not come out to vote.

Various motivational programmes have been conducted in the past three years to imbibe upon the youth the feeling that they too are stakeholders in the democratic process.

On Valentine’s Day, the district election office of the East Khasi Hills district conducted a programme — My Valentine: My Vote — to make the youth come out of their homes to exercise their franchise.

According to the electoral data as per the final publication of summary revision 2014 released by the Election Commission, there are 23,161,296 electors aged between 18 and 19 years out of 814,591,184 electors in the country, thus constituting 2.8 per cent of the national electorate.

Among the 28 states and seven Union Territories, Dadra & Nagar Haveli has the highest proportion of newly eligible electors at 9.88 per cent, followed next by Jharkhand at 9.03 per cent.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands at 1.12 per cent has the lowest proportion of newly eligible electors, followed next by Himachal Pradesh at 1.33 per cent.

In absolute numbers, Uttar Pradesh tops the list with more than 38.1 lakh electors aged between 18 and 19 years, followed next by Bengal with around 20.8 lakh electors in this age group.