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Updated: July 11, 2013 23:14 IST

Survey from next week to gauge voter behaviour in Lok Sabha polls

T. Ramakrishnan
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EC will use the findings during campaign of information at the time of polls

Months ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, a survey of electors will be launched next week in all 39 Lok Sabha constituencies to study voters’ behaviour.

To be conducted by the State Elections Department, the survey is called, in short, KABP (Knowledge, Attitude, Behaviour and Practice of Voters) Baseline Survey. It will seek to ascertain what motivates electors to exercise their franchise and what deters them.

Such a survey is being carried out for the first time in the State for the Lok Sabha polls. When the Assembly elections took place two years ago, both baseline and endline surveys were conducted in 2010-2011.

In each constituency, one Assembly segment will be chosen through random sampling. One hundred and twenty five electors will be interviewed. Totally, 4,875 persons will be covered.

The authorities will engage the services of 39 interviewers at the rate of one per constituency. The interviewers, all young graduates, have been nominated by respective District Collectors. In two batches, they underwent a training programme on Wednesday and Thursday in Chennai.

Making it clear that the baseline survey is part of the national programme of the Election Commission, an official here says that the findings of the proposed survey will be useful in designing and planning the Commission’s campaign of information, education and communication (IEC) at the time of the polls, due next year.

While the interview component of the survey is expected to be completed in about 10 days, data compilation and analysis will consume a few weeks. By August-end, the survey report is likely to be finalised, says the official. The Department of Evaluation and Applied Research in the State government would be utilised for data compilation and analysis.

Baseline and endline surveys are part of the Commission’s programme of Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP), which is being given greater thrust after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

One of the major reasons behind the launch of the programme was that at the all-India level, 30 crore electors did not cast votes in 2009. [However, in Tamil Nadu, the turnout was high with about 73 per cent. Out of 4.16 crore electors, nearly 3.04 crore cast their votes].

Noting that the State witnessed the highest voter turnout of 78 per cent in the 2011 Assembly elections, the Endline Survey had concluded that there was scope for improving the voter turnout up to 90 per cent, if the goal of 100 per cent inclusion of voters’ names in electoral roll was achieved.

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The election commission can examine using the cell phones for exercising the franchises. Now that majority of Indian masses have accessibility to these phones, a suitable software can be developed and at the convenience of their time and day the people can vote. Instead of phased elections on certain days, etc,, the election authorities can give ten days for voting all over India. So without pressure or any influence from the contestants the voters will register their vote. The poll expenses also get drastically reduced.

from:  chandrasekaran
Posted on: Jul 12, 2013 at 01:10 IST
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