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What is National Voters’ Day?
National Voters Day is celebrated every year on 25th of January. National Voters day marks the foundation of Election commission of India which was laid on 25th of January, 1950.
This day is celebrated to increase the number of voters all around the country, specially the number of young voters. It is celebrated to increase awareness about voting and the active participation in the process of voting.
The celebration of national voter day began from the year 2011 onwards.
For the youth, here’s a sneak peek into why the whole process of voting is every citizen’s right. More on this is provided below.
A vote is a choice made by a particular group or a person in a meeting or an election. It is a means to express one’s views in response to a poll.
Democracies elect high posts of officers usually by a free and fair voting process. Those who give their opinion or ‘vote’ are called as voters and the nominees are called as representatives.
A government is selected by voting in an election, which is every citizen’s right to choose among several candidates for ruling their constituency. Voting generally takes place in polling booths.
Nowadays, secret ballots have been put into use to protect the voter’s privacy and to avoid voters getting intermediates by other or the opposing political parties.
The constitution of India places utmost importance on maintaining the dignity of the voter. He has all the rights to cast votes according to his likes and dislikes.
He can elect the candidate he wishes to. Our democracy provides for a free and fair election system. He need not reveal the person’s name to whom he cast the vote even after the election process takes place.
He can maintain secrecy of his vote for a lifetime and there is no way he could be questioned in this regard, by any person, using his powers etc.
Let’s see how a person can cast his vote in an EVM
Also, there are various electoral voting machines (EVMs) based on technological usage, available now which have a particular button for a particular political party, generally represented by the logo of the political party.
All that we have to do is press the button of the political party we want to cast our vote for and thus our voting is recorded.
This method of voting is better than ballot paper system as it minimizes the use of papers and ink. Technology sure plays a leading role in bringing reforms to our doorstep and the election commission was right in introducing technology enabled election processes to stay tuned with changing times.
Voting is very important as it lets you decide and give your opinion about the choice of your leader. As a result it brings up your voting rights which every citizen above the age of 18 has got in every country.
National Voters’ Day 2019
National voter day 2019 falls on the 25th of January, 2019. IT will be the ninth year when the day will be celebrated across India.
Every year, the government proposes a new theme to draw more youngsters to come forward and enroll themselves in the electoral rolls of the country.
The government looks forward for active participation from its youth in order to make the country citizen-friendly.
The goals also cater to people friendly initiatives and a government by the citizens of the country, for the citizens of the country.
For this to happen, specific themes are worked out to spread awareness to the youth about the importance of the day.
A unique voter ID would be created for individuals who are citizens of India, are above the age of 18 years and are enrolling themselves for the first time.
These are some of the initiatives being taken to let the youth have a sense of empowerment and pride. The new voters will be provided a badge with a quote “Proud to be a voter: ready to vote”.
National Voters’ Day Celebration
The National Voter’s Day is celebrated every year at New Delhi in the presence of the Honorable President of India as the chief guest.
In the celebration, welcome speech is read out to the gathering; various cultural events are organized such as dance and folk displays, music programs, poster making competitions, drawing competitions on various themes etc.
For example, the 7th National Voter’s Day was celebrated on 25th January, 2017 having President Pranab Mukherjee as the Chief Guest.
It was celebrated in the National capital and drew a lot of participants, especially students. A drawing competition was also organized based on the theme ‘Every vote counts’.
There were many enthusiastic participants who took part in various events and showed their contribution and interest in country-building activities.
The President was overwhelmed by the huge crowds and massive participation by the youth that he congratulated the Election commission for achieving great heights in this regard.
He lauded in their efforts to inspire the younger generation to come forward and vote and hoped even in the future; elections would be organized elections in a disciplined conduct.
In the meeting of Union Cabinet, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh once observed that the youth was very much uninterested in voting and choosing its political representatives.
In order to take action against this, the Election Commission took up an exercise to identify all the 18 plus citizens of the country and enroll them for the voting process.
As part of the celebrations, many important lectures are delivered to spread awareness about the electoral system in India. Some of the important notes on which lectures are provided are discussed below:
Where should one vote?
The electoral commission generally allows a voter to vote in the place from where he resides or a place when he lives. Every citizen is thus part of a big constituency.
Voting from two or more different places is considered as an offence and the Electoral commission should be immediately intimated whenever one changes his or her place of living.
It is considered illegal and a person should never do so. It amounts to crime in other words.
A citizen can enroll himself or herself as a voter when he or she turns 18 years of age. The Election Commission revises the electoral rolls every five years and also before an election.
A Voter ID is not compulsory when it comes to vote. The Electoral Commission gives every voter an Electors’ Photo Identity Card (EPIC) which has the person’s photo identification and a unique identification number imprinted on it.
However, carrying a Voter ID when you go to vote is not compulsory, you can carry your Driving license, PAN card, Adhaar Card or anything that is a valid document provided and authorized by government officials and the details in them help the Electoral Commission to find your identity easily.
If for any reason, your name is removed from the electoral roll, the concerned official on the day of voting would not allow you to vote even if you have your Voter ID card with you.
Those who are found to be part of criminal offences, who are citizens of another country, those who are not ‘mentally fit’ as per court directions are exempted from their exercise to cast their valuable votes.
Such persons do not have the inherent power to vote and are barred from casting their votes in the ballot machine.
An Indian who has his or her name in the electoral roll cannot vote unless he or she is personally present in the polling booth at the time of voting.
Government is looking for ways such as proxy voting and postal ballots for NRI’s too. Each vote counts.
National Voters’ Day Significance and Importance
India is the largest democracy in the world. Every citizen of this country is provided with basic rights to vote. He can exercise his franchise to select the leader he thinks is capable of leading the nation and bringing about a change.
The national voter’s day is undoubtedly a step forward in encouraging the right practices in the electoral system. The day is very significant in the roots of India because the future of our country lies in the leaders we select today.
Very little participation from the youth in selecting the right leader will only cause enough damage to the democracy. By choosing the right leader, we can pave way for good developments and build inroads for excellence and unmatched progress in every sphere of economic turnaround.
For a fast paced development, matched with global benchmarks, the country needs strong leaders who can build a reliable future for the country.
If we do not come forward and select the right leaders, we are letting our country come down in merits in areas of progress and development.
Leading the country on bad roads will burn a hole personally when the whole system turns against us. Right from basic services to big projects, it is the country’s leaders who decide the in’s and out’s of the nation.
Hence we should encourage youth participation and build a strong network of the next generation who will make sure to cast their votes without fail.
National Voters’ Day Quotes
- Voting is how we participate in a civic society- be it for president, be it for municipal election. It is the way we teach our children- in school selections- how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice- Loretta Lynch.
- The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting- Charles Bukowski.
- Voting is the most precious right of every citizen, and we have a moral obligation to ensure the integrity of our voting process.
- Thinking isn’t agreeing or disagreeing. That’s voting. – Robert Frost.
- Voting is a civic sacrament. –Theodore Hesburgh.
- Voting is the expression of our commitment to our selves, one another, this country and this world.
- Evert citizen of this country should be guaranteed that their vote matters, that their vote is counted, and that their vote has a much weight as that of The President, the CEO or any member of any political party.
- Not voting is not a protest; it is a surrender.-Keith Ellison.
- I believe that voting is the first act of building a community as well as building a country. -John Ensign.
- Young people need to vote. They need to get out there. Every vote counts. Educate yourself too. Don’t just vote. Know what you’re voting for, and stand by that.
What we can do as the responsible citizen?
Keith Ellison has correctly said that not voting is not a protest, it is a total surrender. True. When you do not vote, your opinion is not counted.
Being a responsible citizen above 18 years of age, one should vote for each and every election. In that way, your opinion will be counted.
It is also said that wrong political parties are not won by the number of votes they received, but they win by the number of people who did not vote the correct or the good political parties.
After one gets above 18, one who enroll himself or herself as a voter in the Electoral Commission of India, get his or her EPIC and get the unique Voter ID.
Remember, when you vote, you give your opinion which is very important. Everyone has the right to vote because voting rights are constitutional rights.
The youth of today demands changes in the system around us. We definitely need to bring about that change.
How that change can be initiated is through active participation and not just lying idle in our comfortable couches by letting others do the task. We must take up responsibility in our hands and bring about the change we wish to see.