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Gujarat Assembly Polls: Decline in first-time voters

According to the Election Commission of India’s most recent enrolment statistics, out of the total of 4.9 crore registered voters, approximately 2.35 crore are under the age of 40. As many as 11.74 lakh of them are first-time voters, which is 2.39 per cent down from 2.7 per cent in 2017 and as much as 3.5 per cent in 2012.

Rachna Verma |

The total number of older voters, who are 100 years of age or more, has increased in Gujarat, reaching up to 10,000. However, the total number of first-time voters has declined once again.

According to the Election Commission of India’s most recent enrolment statistics, out of the total of 4.9 crore registered voters, approximately 2.35 crore are under the age of 40. As many as 11.74 lakh of them are first-time voters, which is 2.39 per cent down from 2.7 per cent in 2017 and as much as 3.5 per cent in 2012.

It is worth noting that the state has seen an increase in senior voters, with the majority of them being over 100 years old. The Election Commission will provide services to about 10,000 senior citizens. Their number in 2017 was about 7600, which has now gone up to 10,000. Ahmedabad has the most centurion voters, with 1500 registered.

To cater to the voters and smooth the electoral process, 29,357 sites were designated as voting stations in Gujarat, totaling 51,839 polling stations (PS). Rajkot has the highest number of voting centres at 5,610, followed by Surat 4,637, Banaskantha 2,613 and Vadodara 2,590.

As per the data of ECI, the 30-39 age groups of people make up the largest portion of voters.  This group has 1.21 crore voters, which accounts for up to one-fourth of all voters in the state. The 20-29 age group has 1.03 crore votes, which is the second-highest number. Eighty and older voters now make up 9.8 lakh of the electorate, significantly up from 6.3 lakh in 2017.

 As per the Association for Democratic Reform (ADR), out of the total voters, there should be 3.66 per cent who are first-time voters in the 18–19 age groups but only one per cent of them are registered. The decline in first-time voters may be due to the migration of youngsters abroad for study or delay in the registration of such voters.

Gujarat goes to assembly polls in two phases – December 1 and 5. As per the Census 2011, Gujarat, the ninth-most populated state in India, has a diversified population that represents many different groups and religions. According to the Census, out of a total population of 6.04 crore, 88.57 per cent were identified as Hindu, 9.67 per cent Muslims, 0.96 per cent Jains and 0.52 per cent Christians.