KAKINADA : Youngsters of East Godavari district seem to be reluctant to enrol themselves as voters and exercise their franchise in the next elections. It is evident with the latest statistics of voter enrolment in the district. Out of the total population of 55,36,926 in the district, 1,27,019 are youngsters in the age group of 18-19. Only 0.3% of them are enrolled as new voters in the revision of electoral lists.
Similarly, the percentage of youth in the age group of 20-29 who are enrolled as voters, is also less. Out of the total population of 10,44,642 in the age group, 8,53,610 are enrolled as voters (15.4 %). Nearly 3.02 lakh eligible youngsters are yet to be enrolled as voters in the district.
To attract youth in the age groups of 18-19 and 20-29, the East Godavari district authorities are making special arrangements for enrolment as per the directive of the State Election Commission (SEC). In fact, the district administration took up a special enrolment drive on November 20 at 4,266 polling stations in all 19 Assembly constituencies of East Godavari.
The special drive failed to attract the youth as only 2,561 applied for enrolment as voters. Hence, the authorities have decided to take up another special voter enrolment drive. The draft voter list was published on November 15.
One month time was given for corrections and other rectifications. The one month time elapses on December 14. In this connection, another special enrolment programme will be conducted to cover all the eligible persons.
As per records, nearly 4.1 lakh youth are yet to be enrolled as voters in the district. In view of this, arrangements have been made for a special enrolment drive at 4,266 polling centres as well as through the online system.
“Till now, 16,915 youths have submitted their applications through online for voter enrolment. The special enrolment centres will work on Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Youngsters can get their names enrolled at the centres by submitting their applications along with the photo copies of Aadhaar cards, photos and other necessary documents for identity proof. Citizens whose names got deleted from the electoral rolls, can also utilise the opportunity. The final list of voters will be published on January 16, 2017,” a district official said.
Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University-Kakinada (JNTU-K), Adikavi Nannaya University (AKNU) and other prominent educational institutions of the district have been directed to take up programmes to motivate students to get their names enrolled in the voter lists.
“We advise the youth to utilise the opportunity and get the most valuable constitutional right, which is a powerful weapon of the democratic system,” said District Collector H Arun Kumar.