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Compulsory voting is not practical in India, says Zaidi (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

View of CEC on Compulsory Voting
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Nasim Zaidi said the idea of compulsory voting has not been found so practical in India, but comparative benefits of compulsory voting and education-led mobilisation of voters will be worth examining again.

The CEC said the Systematic Voters’ Education should be carried out.  In 2014 elections, 66.4 per cent voter turnout in an electorate of 834 million in the national elections was an achievement. Most significantly, women’s participation was at a record high of 65.6 per cent.

View of Govt.
In response to a private member’s Bill on compulsory voting, introduced in the Lok Sabha, the government had also said it would not be possible to bring in such a law that punishes those who do not vote.

Why the demand for compulsory voting is made?
Low voter turnout and increasing apathy to vote among specific groups of people enable candidates to get selected with low representation among the voters.



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