Do the 1.37 crore young voters hold the key in Tamil Nadu Assembly polls?
While there are 13,09,311 first-time voters in the age group of 18-19, the number of voters in the age group of 19-29 stands at 1,23,95,696.
CHENNAI: With the voter population in Tamil Nadu crossing 6.26 crore in the final electoral rolls released on Wednesday, the 1.37 crore young voters in the age group of 18-29 (21.86 percent of total voters) may play a key role in deciding the outcome of the forthcoming Assembly elections.
While there are 13,09,311 first-time voters in the age group of 18-19, the number of voters in the age group of 19-29 stands at 1,23,95,696. Also, for the first time, 12.98 lakh voters who are above the age of 80 can opt for postal votes. Further, the 4,62,597 PwD voters can also opt for this facility.
"The 2021 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu are going to be the mother of all elections in the state on many counts. We can say the 1.37 crore young voters hold the key for the ensuing elections. Due to the abundant information available on social media, the young voters are scattered in Tamil Nadu. Usually, the first-time voters are guided by their parents. But this may change to some extent due to the social media penetration. Voters in the age group of 20-29 are composed of those who had voted for two or three elections and they might have strong viewpoints on who should be elected," says political analyst Tharasu Shyam.
"In a nutshell, in the forthcoming elections, the grandsons (young voters) are going to vote for their grandfather-like leaders. When the DMK was surging ahead in the 1960s, there were many young leaders. For example, P Seenivasan, who defeated late leader K Kamaraj, was around 25," Shyam added.
He also pointed out that a few decades ago, there were joint families and the traditional vote bank was intact. Now, the society is filled with nuclear families and hence young voters have come out of the traditional voting style. They might like to experiment with their choices in the elections, he said.
Senior journalist GC Shekhar is of the view that the 1.37 crore young voters may vote for different alliances in the elections. As far as first time voters go, they have big expectations about their leaders due to the impact of social media, he added.
Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo released the final electoral rolls at the secretariat. The voter population of the state, which stood at 6.10 crore on November 16, has now crossed 6.26 crore and women voters continue to outnumber men. The total number of voters is 6,26,74,446, with women at 3,18,28,727, men at 3,08,38,473 and third gender at 7,246.
A close look at the district-wise and Assembly constituency-wise voters revealed that women voters outnumbered men in 201 of the 234 constituencies. Interestingly, in the Neyveli constituency, the difference between men and women is only one vote (men: 1,08,936; women: 1,08,935). Also, the number of women voters in Coonoor constituency stands at 99,999 - just one short of a lakh.
Sholinganallur Assembly constituency in Chengalpattu district has the highest number of voters in Tamil Nadu with 6,94,845 voters (men: 3,48,262; women: 3,46,476; third gender: 107) while Harbour Assembly constituency in Chennai district has the lowest number of voters: 1,76,272 (men: 91,936; women: 84,281; third gender: 55).
All eligible persons who have completed 18 years as on January 1, 2021 and do not find their names in the electoral rolls still have a chance to enroll themselves in the voters list. They can apply in the following ways: I. By visiting Electoral Registration Offices and submitting Form - 6; II. By applying online through www.nvsp.in; and III. Through 'Voter Helpline App" available on Google Play Store.