10 Absolutely Valid Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Exercise The Power Of Your Vote

Posted by Youth Ki Awaaz in #JetSetVote
August 1, 2017
Facebook logoEditor’s Note: With #JetSetVote, Youth Ki Awaaz and Facebook India have come together to create a community of millennials who are aware and informed about their voter rights and responsibilities, through a series of workshops organised in collaboration with PRIA across 50 campuses. If you're a student, teacher or admin member, register your college to organise a fun session!

If you are a first-time voter (or will become one soon), you may still remember those school lessons about how important voting was to the health of a democracy. Your teacher may have even said stuff like ‘practice your franchise’ when you become ‘eligible to vote’. But if all of that sounded like just plain fancy talk to you, you’re not the only one.

The truth is, though, that when it comes to going out there to vote, a huge fraction of our population doesn’t seem interested in exercising this power. Did you know, for example, that voter turnout in Lok Sabha elections has hovered around 55-66% since Independence? But let’s talk about what’s going on with youth like you and me. Until 2014, the turnout of first-time-voters (18-22 years) in the General Elections remained lower than the national average voter turnout. It seems everyone has an excuse to NOT vote! Several excuses, actually.

Team YKA decided to run those bahanas under our scanners and see whether you – the millennial voter – have a legit reason to steer clear of that polling booth. As solid as you think your excuses are, we’ve got a counter for each one of ’em, and by the end of this we think you just might be ready to #JetSetVote!

Choose an excuse for not voting.

You only need to inform the election commission about this. Fill Form 7 to delete your name from the previous constituency and Form 6 (with the new address) to add your name in the electoral roll in the new constituency. Submit both these forms to the Electoral Registration Officer of the new constituency and you are done.

Even migrant workers, who move a lot and get the short end of the stick with almost every government, exercise their right to vote seriously. And you still want to make this excuse?

This is a really bad excuse for not going out to vote. ECI guidelines require that polling stations are set up in a manner that no voter has to travel more than 2 kilometres to vote, so no polling station can be too far away. This guideline is relaxed at times due to topography, but if the election commission has set up a booth in the Gir forest for a single voter, it can be safely said they take a lot of pain to ensure that a voter doesn’t have to cross mountains to cast his vote! Don’t be lazy, please?

Okay, so sometimes the weather may not be as pleasant as you’d like it to be. And you may have to stand in a queue to cast your vote. But the wait isn’t infinite, you know. In fact, the ECI reviews and rationalises polling stations from time-to-time so that there are no more than 1200 voters at a station in rural areas and no more than 1400 voters at those in urban areas. Taking this fact into account, how long do you think the wait can be? Not much, we say.

A woman laughing at a man. Text reads: Bina Voter ID vote nahi? Bade Mazakiye ho!
Don’t sweat it! You can vote even without your Voter ID. Any commonly accepted proofs of identification including PAN card, driving license, ration card, student’s ID card and passport are accepted as long as your name is on the electoral roll.

Says who? You can fill Form 6 for registration online at www.eci.nic.in or on each respective state’s Chief Electoral Officer’s (CEO) website. And if you don’t have access to internet, you can send the form to the Electoral Registration Officer by post!

A man with his fist raised. Text reads: Ye ek vote tumne nahi diya to, democracy uthegi nahi, uth jayegi.
All the best in foreign land! But just FYI, as long as you are a citizen of India, you can register for voting. Click here to know more. You might have to come down to India, though unless you are a service voter. Click here to know more about service voters.

An old man entering a room holding a stick with hands folded.
This is Shyam Saran Negi. He is going to be 100 years old. He still votes. Be like him. Moreover, from your representatives at the local level to those at the national level, everybody has a role to play in how your money is spent (watch video below), and each of these people affect how you live. If you don’t choose your representative, you’ll be foregoing the power to decide how you are governed.


Here’s a Eureka! moment for you. You can still register as a voter if you want to vote as a resident of your college hostel. If your college is in a place different from your hometown, you would want that place to be governed well, too, right? So if you plan to vote as a resident of your college, you need to get a Student Declaration Form signed by your college authorities, and you are ready with a residence proof.

For general and assembly elections at least, the ECI uploads affidavits (containing information about candidates, such as their educational qualification, criminal history records, details of assets and liabilities) of each candidate in a constituency on its website. State Election Commissions, although promise this, haven’t always done so readily for local body elections. But other organisations, such as Association for Democratic Reforms, provide this information on their website for local body elections too. There. Done.

Every single vote matters! Don’t believe us? Ask A. R. Krishnamurhthy of Janata Dal (Secular) who lost to R Dhruvanarayan of Congress by just one vote in the Karnataka assembly elections of 2004. Here are four more instances from India where just one vote made all the difference.

Got an excuse that’s not in the list? Post your excuse in the comments, and we’ll see if we can help you with it. Happy voting for the next elections!