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Mizoram LS polls: Urban apathy, lack of agendas, issues by political parties blamed for low turnout

First Published: 20th April, 2024 19:28 IST

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dr. H. Lianzela spoke exclusively to Northeast Live and pointed out several aspects that have affected voting

What led to the low voter turnout in Mizoram in this Lok Sabha election?

If we look at the last Assembly Elections held in 2023, 78.40% voters had casted their votes to elect the Lalduhoma government. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the state had recored a voter turnout of 69.3%.
But this time the state has recorded a mere 56.68% of voter turnout in the Lok Sabha elections, a fall of 12.7 % in comparison to the voter turnout in 2019.

But what is the reason behind this?

The Mizoram Election Commission has closely observed this decline in the voter turnout and has in fact figured out the causes behind this.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dr. H. Lianzela spoke exclusively to Northeast Live on this and shared his thoughts on how he looks at it.

First and foremost Lianzela attributed the low voter turnout to lack of agendas and issues in this elections. Besides the Additional CEO also said that the political parties or even the candidates failed to mobilize the voters on the basis of any agenda or ideology.

Not only this the Mizoram Additional CEO also pointed out that voting turnout was also due to urban apathy, and in this case he reffered to the Aizawl district, which has 14 Assembly constituencies.

Speaking elaborately, the Mizoram Additional CEO said, “Firstly, voters were not really enthusiastic and interested as there were no big political agendas and issues for Parliamentary Election in a small state like Mizoram.

Secondly, there was no startegic mobilization of the voters by the political parties and their candidates.

Thirdly, the voters working or studying outside the state find no reasonable ground compelling circumstances to come back to their where they are registered as voters and spend their hard money to caste their single vote in favour of a candidate with whom they do not have no any repo, or connection or something else.

Another issue is that urban apathy. This goes true in case of Aizawl district, as the lowest voter turnout amongst the 11 districts is recorded in Aizawl.

Another point is that, I feel that national politics could hardly make any inroads to the day to day lives of the people in a remote state like Mizoram, which has resulted in de-politicized environment during parliamentary election

Unless we make voting mandatory or compulsory under the Constitution and online voting becomes a reality, a very high voter turnout cannot be expected.

Lastly I am of the view that electoral Rolls are not that relevant and effective enough to check duplicates voters; and rules pertaining to electoral revision and it’s related laws also calls for amendment to make our electoral roll error free.”

As per the Election Commission data, a total of 8,56,364 voters were identified as eligible voters out of which 4,14,805 are male voters and 4,41,559 are female voters.

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