Defence personnel, diplomats reluctant to vote: OfficialNovember 12th, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Nov 12 (IANS) Defence personnel and diplomats, as also other staffers posted at Indian missions abroad, are reluctant to vote during elections, an official said.According to the Delhi election office, most of those in the two categories, known as service voters, just don’t want to vote.
“They have a dismal record and hardly 10 percent of them vote,” J.K. Sharma, Delhi’s deputy chief electoral officer, told IANS.
“During last assembly elections, there were 4,425 service voters from Delhi and we had sent postal ballots to them. But most of them did not return the ballots. Some of them followed the wrong procedure, leading to the rejection of their vote,” Sharma added.
With 10.7 million eligible voters, Delhi goes to the polls Nov 29.
“There is apathy towards elections and this I think is sad,” Sharma maintained.
“We are sending our postal ballots to our embassies abroad and those defence personnel who are posted outside Delhi on Nov 16,” he added.
The postal ballots will be collated first on Dec 8, when the counting of votes cast in Delhi and the five other states where assembly polls are being held, is taken up. Counting of votes recorded in electronic voting machines will be taken up after that.
Besides service voters, nearly 60,000 Delhi police personnel and 80,000 officials on election duty in the capital will cast their vote through postal ballots.
The voter turnout is slowly dwindling in Delhi. While 49 percent exercised their democratic rights in the 2003 assembly elections, the number fell to 43 percent during last year’s municipal elections.