EC keen to do away with cut-off date for voter registration

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Keen to boost voter participation, the Election Commission has asked the government to amend rules so as to do away with the existing cut-off date for voter registration.

Talking to reporters at “Voter awareness and registration initiative” launch ceremony at FICCI office here Friday, Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said the poll panel had moved the law ministry to amend rules so that voters who turn 18 need not wait for Jan 1 to be registered as voters.
Under the existing rules, a person is eligible to be registered as voter when he attains age of 18 on Jan 1, he said.
“As a result, a person who attains age of 18 on Jan 2, cannot be registered. He will have to wait for next year to get registered,” Zaidi said, adding that the poll panel was keen that a person should be able to register as voter when he or she turns 18.
Elaborating further, he said if a youth attains age of 18 on Jan 2 and general elections were held later that year, he would not be able to cast his vote.
Such a person, he said, may have to wait for almost five years to cast his vote in the general elections.
He said the poll panel had received several suggestions concerning the cut-off date for voter registration and had sent its proposal to the law ministry about two months back.
In his speech at the event, Zaidi said the election commission had created partnerships on voter awareness with civil society organisations, media, educational institutions, state and central government agencies and was doing so with the corporate sector now.
“We hope involvement of corporate houses will percolate to individual industry level,” he said.