As soon as we turn 18, we get excited about all the things we would be eligible for and voting is one of them. I remember getting my voter ID. I was eager to experience voting for the first time. I gave my first vote after a year for Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The center was coincidentally in the same school where my mom teaches. It was also the first time I saw that school. I was alone (as in my dad and brother had to go to another polling booth) but my mom, being an “election incharge”, had told me everything I will come across in the voting booth. In there, everything happened so quickly, checking the name, inking finger, using the EVM, etc.
Voting is not a difficult task. It is as easy as clicking a button. But before that, one needs to realize what power that one click holds. How it can change the rest of the few years of your country. Voting is a huge contribution to one’s nation. Of course, you can choose not to vote or to press NOTA just like a soldier could have chosen not to join the army because his life will be at stake all the time. This government that you choose holds great power that makes you more powerful than the government. Hence, your voting is like Thanos snapping his finger :P, won’t take time but is powerful enough to change the scenario of the world you live in. Have you considered how many votes can get wasted if not used properly?
Well, here I am to help you in giving the vote to the most deserving person you feel. Following are a few things that you should be prepared for before the voting day:
1. Go through the basics of voting
Yeah, yeah, I know you have read political science in school and you follow the news, etc. etc. but still, sometimes we miss some minor information that could have been helpful especially if it’s your first time. Information like:
the procedure of voting, how EVM works, what are the rules when you visit a polling booth, whom to report if you find something fishy in the polling booth, what is the work of different polling officers, etc.
2) Know your state (U.T.) and constituency well
You should know how many constituencies are there in your state or U.T. and your area lies under which constituency. A constituency is “an area whose voters elect a representative to a legislative body.” Thanks to the internet now you can check everything related to your area or whether your name is in the voter’s list etc. Visit your polling booth a day before if you are not sure where it is (although Google maps!!)
3) Do your research about political parties and its candidates
A few days back an auto driver asked me after dropping me to my location, “don’t you remember me?” I said no. Then he told me that he was one of the candidates who stood for election from my area independently but everybody rooted for the X guy from the Y party (obviously I won’t reveal names :P). I could barely stop laughing but isn’t it weird? I didn’t even know who he was. A few parties that are good at selling themselves because they have fundings suppress the independent candidates of your area.
Obviously, you will vote for the party you trust but then, also see who the candidate is; What’s his background; if he is chosen as a representative he must have been known in your locality for a while now. I believe, the party can only affect the decisions the leader makes. So, you should choose the leader wisely no matter how trust-worthy the party seems.
Here is a list of candidates for Delhi Lok Sabha elections 2019 :
4) Do you remember all the symbols correctly?
Some smart candidates or parties will choose the symbol that looks similar to the one that is most likely to get most of the votes in that region. This way people will think they have given the vote in favor of M party but actually, they gave the vote to W party (you know what I mean) so don’t get fooled by them or leave your home unprepared.
Trust me, it seems easy but seeing almost 20 candidates with similar looking symbols can be confusing and you won’t have time there to figure out who is who.
5) Don’t get carried away
Many political parties start making changes in the legislation when the elections are near. They try to fulfill promises now that they had made 5 years ago. This should not influence your judgment of voting in favor of a certain party and neither what they say on stage, they are just better orators than the others. If you hardly know about these parties and really want to dig deeper then you will have to go back a little in the history of Indian politics ( seems I have started boring you :P).
We can’t know it all, and well this is why our parents and teachers emphasized on reading newspapers and gaining GK so we become a responsible citizen one day. It is still not too late and curiosity is the key. 😛
These are the basic things that you should be aware of before going to vote. It is better to be a responsible voter than not being a voter at all. It’s 17th Lok Sabha election and you will not wanna wait for another 5 years assuming things will never change or all parties are the same. You just can’t give up on your nation so stand together, take charge and vote!