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EC devises targeted strategies to enhance voter turnout in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections

In an effort to surpass the 67.4% average voter participation observed in the 2019 elections, the Election Commission (EC) has directed its focus towards 10 major states with turnout figures either slightly above or below the national average, as well as approximately 250 constituencies that displayed turnout below their respective state averages.

By Rekha Joshi 
Updated Date

New Delhi: To accomplish this goal, the EC communicated its “Turnout Implementation Plan” to Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of states on June 12. The plan urged District Election Officers (DEOs) to identify factors contributing to low turnout and work to address these issues at the local level.

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The EC emphasized the necessity for “targeted communication efforts to remove voter apathy” in the states where voter turnout is below or slightly above the national average. The states in focus are Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh. The CEOs and DEOs were requested to develop plans that aim to raise the turnout to match the national average. Additionally, special attention was advised for polling booths with turnout lower than the state average.

Although Assembly elections are scheduled for Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram in the coming months, the EC’s turnout plan primarily targets the 2024 General Election.

At an EC event, Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar highlighted a change in the approach to the ongoing Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) program. He stated that the initiative now encompasses a “Turnout Implementation Tip,” which involves an extensive profiling of constituencies and booths with lower voter turnout.

The EC’s move is not centered on a uniform solution; instead, it aims to tailor strategies to specific regions. Around 200 to 250 constituencies have been identified in this context. The EC’s directive from June urged states with higher than average turnout to prioritize constituencies with below-average turnout.

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CEOs were instructed to perform a comprehensive gap analysis, examine media consumption patterns, and target disinterested groups such as youth and urban voters. They were asked to gather data on factors like migration trends, availability of public transport, and the occurrence of popular events or gatherings between September and February 2024, where awareness activities could be conducted.

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