81 crore voters in LS polls, 4 crore to be first-timers
New Delhi: Over 81 crore people are expected to exercise their franchise in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, which include at least four crore first-time voters in the youth category.
Election Commission sources say the number of electors in the country eligible to cast their vote in 2014 Lok Sabha election has gone up by around 10 crore from those who were eligible to vote in the 2009 general elections.
"Around 3.91 crore new electors have been added in recent summary revision of electoral rolls during the last three months, of which 1.27 crore voters are those in the category of 18-19 years age group," said Election Commission's Director General Akshay Raut.
Sharing the voter data ahead of the National Voter's Day, Raut said the total number of new voters added will be out by the end of the month when the final publication of electoral rolls will be done.
During the last Voter's Day in 2013, as many as 2.32 crore voters were added, including 93 lakh first-time young voters in the 18-19 years age group.
In 2012, 3.83 crore new electors were added, including 1.09 crore young first-time voters.
Celebrating the day of its inception as National Voter's Day on January 23, the Election Commission holds awareness programmes and campaigns to spread the message of registration of voters and exercising their franchise during elections to strengthen participatory democracy in the country where every eligible voter votes.
President Pranab Mukherjee will speak at the National Voter's Day celebrations tomorrow at Vigyan Bhawan, while the Commission will hold 6.5 lakh functions across 8.5 lakh polling stations across the country to mark the day tomorrow. Such functions on Voter's Day will also be held at 9.77 lakh educational institutions in collaboration with NGOs, civic society and social organisations.
In his message on National Voter's Day, Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said "our endeavour is to ensure that everyone eligible is enrolled and those enrolled should vote in elections voluntarily.
"Besides, the participation of citizens in elections needs to be informed and ethical for a healthy democracy."
During the 2009 polls, there were 714 million voters against 671 million voters in 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
The Commission has also presented 16 'best electoral awards' in three categories of states, officers and society for spreading awareness about best electoral practices.
The states of Delhi, Rajasthan, Tripura and Karnataka will get excellence awards for smooth and successful conduct of elections. National media awards will also be presented to Rajasthan Patrika and DD Girnar in print and electronic media for best support for propagating electoral awareness, he said.