Elections 101: The Race for Our Future Has Begun

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Lok Sabha Election
Image Credits: Robot Vinay

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”- John F. Kennedy  

Most young Indians look at politics with a certain disdain. Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. But knowing the difference between those choices is what makes the cut. Less than a month is left before we elect the people to power who will decide the policies of our future and have an effect on our finances, our schools, our infrastructure etc.

Almost 900 million people have registered to vote during this Lok Sabha Election, out of which 15 million are first time voters in the 18-19 age group.

The Central Government gives rise to all these policies and now we have the chance to hand over the power and our faith to a body that could either break our trust or make our trust.

So let’s start with the basics.

When will the elections be held?

April 11th to May 19th

Lok Sabha Election 2019
Image Credits: Tanvi Walanj
Lok Sabha Election 2019
Image Credits: Tanvi Walanj

When will the results be announced?

May 23rd

Who is eligible to vote?

To be eligible to be registered as a general elector, the person has to be a citizen of India and 18 or above in age.

Who are contesting the General Elections?

The chief political parties contesting the Lok Sabha Elections are the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.

Let’s break it down a little.

Since the country is split up into individual constituencies which are dependent on the State’s population and area. Not more than 550 members can be elected to the Lok Sabha and only 1 member can represent one constituency. The members of the ruling party will form the Central Government and a candidate will be appointed as the Prime Minister.

Fun Fact: 50 percent of the Lok Sabha should vote in favor of the new government in order for it to be valid. If the party fails to get the 50 percent vote, then an alliance with one or more political parties can be formed to attain that majority. This process of formation is also called a Coalition Government. A Coalition Government allows a party to compete in a constituency it previously couldn’t, because of the joint venture.

What is ‘NOTA?’

‘None of the above’ or NOTA is an option in the ballot which the voters can choose if they aren’t in favor of any of the candidates. If the NOTA receive a majority, the ballot is scratched and fresh elections with new candidates are held.

Register to Vote Online in 3 Simple Steps

Step 1: Visit https://www.nvsp.in/

Step 2: Fill form number 6 which is intended to help first-time voters and other voters who have shifted to another constituency.

Step 3: Upload ID and Address proof along with a photograph. After all the details are filled in, scroll down and click on submit.

You can also register to vote offline. Collect and fill 2 copies of Form 6 from the offices of Electoral Registration Officers/ Assistant Electoral Registration Officers and Booth Level Officers.  

Lok Sabha Election 2019
Image Credits: Tanvi Walanj

Why should we vote?

Elections and democracy go hand in hand. As youths, we need to understand that it’s a responsibility to choose a capable representative to bring about a positive change in our country. Politics is a complex concept and the political parties are further complicated with their propaganda. Speeches made by candidates, talk shows and news channels featuring certain news to ignite the public, social media handles, etc. are some ways political parties can influence the youth.

But to get better clarity, healthy discussions among peers are a great way to adjust the thoughts and expectations from each candidate.

5 Things to Keep in Mind for the Upcoming Elections

  • Increasing Awareness

Our understanding of politics is almost always shaped by the political ideologies of our families. That is why it is essential to discuss this subject with people other than our parents in order to rid ourselves of the predisposed thoughts that have been fed to us while growing up.

  • Building Perspectives

Voters must refrain from choosing their representatives with a biased attitude. One way to be unbiased is to be open-minded while listening to supporting as well as opposing arguments to broaden our perspectives.

  • Changing Indifferent Attitudes

Many youths of our country are unaware of the power a vote can have. It can tip the scales to let a deserving party win, securing our future for the rest of the term.

  • Biased Media Reports

It’s a well-known fact that news channels have transformed into profit-making businesses, designed to feed the citizens anything that conforms within certain political agendas. Therefore, along with discussing politics, we should also discuss the way it is being consumed by the mass.

  • India Has The Largest Population Of Youth

The youth constitutes a large part of the population, especially the first time voters during the 2019 general elections.  They hold the power to change the country for the better if they cast their vote for the right candidate.

But how do we choose if we’re not well informed about our choices? Keep an eye out for our next article in the coming week that breaks down candidature for our future.

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