We need to keep up concerted awareness drives and constant hardselling about the need to vote, as awareness is the first step to changing attitudes towards voting. It is time to set the bar higher as far as voter turnout is concerned. Let us not point fingers at people, at political parties or at the media or at authority figures.
There has been enough awareness created, especially in recent years, about how votes can make a difference and change the destiny of the people. Celebrities have endorsed voting and so have other well-known names and faces.
These elections are for local issues, issues that directly impact our everyday lives like roads, water, electricity and so many other civic issues. Through the years, we complain about how our taxes are being wasted and we are not getting benefits of the taxes we pay.
Cursing corporators, complaining and carping about civic amenities, all this may have some justification. Yet, when the time comes to change this, people prefer to stay away citing excuses like they have no time, or it was too hot to stand outside the election booth waiting for one’s turn to vote, or they had more pressing matters to attend to.
One has to admit that there were people who wanted to vote, but numerous mix-ups with voter IDs have left people disappointed. While there may be extenuating circumstances, and there are emergencies, too, which may have stopped people from voting, on the whole it is still the responsibility of the electorate to see that they try their utmost to vote.
There is also the NOTA (None of the Above) option, in case you think that none of the candidates deserve your vote. It is also ironic that the most educated pockets often record a lower voter turnout than slum pockets, proving once again, that a change in attitude is needed.
Those who do not vote even if they can, should be ashamed when they see pictures of the old, the disabled braving odds to come in and cast their vote.
Let us set the bar high when it comes to voter turnouts. Getting inked should be non-negotiable.