Mumbai: As the largest democracy in the world, India is abode to an enormous population of 1.3 billion people and counting. In the era of technological advancements, a large concentration of the nation’s population has migrated to metropolitan areas in search of better employment, education or simply migrated post marriage. But millions of citizens who fail to partake in casting their vote due to geographical constraints. It is a citizen’s fundamental right to move within the country and it is a citizen’s fundamental right to vote, but one of them either were being compromised! Laying impetus towards the impending cause, The Times of India launched its largest-ever collective campaign, Lost Votes, aimed at getting the right for voting for those who have moved away from the address where their vote is registered.
Drawing nation-wide attention, the publication with each step in the campaign parsed awareness to millions of migrated voters and concerned citizens on the importance of casting their vote and urgency of addressing the gap. As per the insights gained during the campaign roll-out, 290 million eligible voters were unable to exercise their right to vote, due to migration without a permanent local address. TOI became the voice of the people via their Lost Votes campaign, urging the Election Commission to find an effective, immediate and permanent solution. Following the year-long campaign, the Election Commission recently announced that they are working on a technology-led solution that will address the issue so that there are no more lost votes.
Speaking about the impact of the Lost Votes campaign, Sanjeev Bhargava, Director The Times of India said “We launched the LOST VOTES campaign last year. A powerful and simple thought: people temporarily not living in a place where their vote is registered are unable to vote. And the number of such eligible voters is close to 30 crores!!! This campaign demanded tech solutions to enable these lost votes and give back the fundamental right to these citizens of India. More than a million-people pledged support to this campaign. And less than a year later the election commissioner has announced the start of this journey. We are proud to be instrumental in the strengthening of our democracy!! Not surprisingly at TOI, we say, “Change Begins Here”
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