Migrants in India: Mute bystanders of elections

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Published on October 5, 2019 by

38% of the population of India are regarded as domestic migrants. 91% of these urban migrants do not vote, as they are not registered voters in their present constituency.

A study from NestAway Technologies shows that 91% of urban migrants are not registered voters in their current cities. The reasons behind this may be lack of awareness, not possessing right documents or affinity towards their native place.

27% of Karnataka’s population migrated here from outside the state. Many of them are unable to exercise their right to vote.

Charu Magotra, a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir, who works in Bangalore says, “I did not vote in the elections as I am a registered voter in J&K. I was in Bangalore at that point of time. In the past five years, I have changed 3 cities. If given a chance I would vote for my constituency in J&K as I am aware of the leaders in Jammu as compared to here.”

Dax Percey Abraham from Goa, who is a co-founder of a start-up in Bangalore adds, “It would be convenient if I can vote in my constituency remotely or maybe online. That way I can exercise my right as a voter.”

Mr K Subhramanya, a political specialist and retired associate editor of Deccan Herald indicates, “As the technology has enhanced, voting can be made online. Anyone can vote from anywhere in India or abroad in their respective constituencies. It is reliable and tamper-free. Election Commission needs to harness the technology. This way every registered voter will be able to vote.”

fourth of India consists of the floating population within the country.

Census Migration Table India

The government can provide alternate solutions like postal voting or online voting for the migrants in India. This will have a significant impact on the election results. Likewise, registered voters of Karnataka, who live outside the state, can also exercise their right to vote for the upcoming by-polls in December 2019. As every vote counts.

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