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Updated: December 6, 2013 01:02 IST

Women voters propel turnout into history books

Rukmini S.
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Much of the credit for high turnouts is given to Election Commission for its efficiency

An analysis of electoral data in the five States that recently went to the polls shows that the very high voter turnouts are, in part, due to a silent, ongoing revolution — Women voters came out in unprecedented numbers, resulting in record-breaking turnouts.

In Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, women voter turnout has risen much faster than men turnout between the 2008 Assembly elections and this polls. Only in Mizoram did men voter turnout rise faster, but here too, women turnout was higher. Women voter turnout was higher than men voter turnout in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh too.

The men-women differential in voter turnout is the closest it has ever been in four of the five States, except Mizoram, showing a strong convergence between the sexes over time.

Seen over a longer period, women voter turnout rose by 20 percentage points in 25 years in Rajasthan, and by 20 percentage points over just 20 years in Delhi. Men voter turnout grew significantly slower.

Much of the credit for the high voter turnouts is given to the Election Commission for its efficiency. The Commission cleaned up the voter rolls, updating the addresses of voters who have moved out and deleting excess names, an official said. A senior EC official, who did not want to be quoted during an ongoing election, told The Hindu that the Commission had made special efforts to bring out women voters, focussing its efforts on constituencies where the voter sex ratio lagged behind the sex ratio in the Census.

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