Watch | Why is Bengaluru voter turnout always so low?

Watch | Why is Bengaluru voter turnout always so low?

The Hindu’s Afshan Yasmeen on the various factors contributing to the poor turnout over several years

Updated - May 08, 2024 12:32 pm IST

Published - May 08, 2024 12:21 pm IST

Bengaluru did it again. Once more, nearly half the citizens of the country’s tech hub gave Lok Sabha elections a miss on polling day last month, with the city recording a voter turnout of 54.76%.

As April 26 dawned, Bengaluru witnessed thousands of earlybirds making their way to the polling booths to cast their vote in Phase two of Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka.

Yet, according to the Election Commission, the three Lok Sabha constituencies in the city clocked the lowest turnout among the 14 that went to polls that day.

Bengaluru North 54.45% (54.66% in 2019), Bengaluru Central 54.06% (54.28% in 2019), and Bengaluru South 53.17% (53.47% in 2019). Meanwhile, Bengaluru Rural constituency improved its voter turnout with 68.3%, up from 64.90% in 2019.

Some say the heatwave affected the voting spirit in the city, which sweltered at 35 degrees Celsius that day. But, data shows that rising mercury levels have little to do with such subdued voting.

So what really explains Bengaluru’s low voter turnout? Are there factors other than urban apathy contributing to this phenomena? What other strategies can the Election Commission undertake to bring about a fundamental change?

We speak to Afshan Yasmeen, Deputy Editor in the Karnataka bureau.

Host: Nalme Nachiyar

Production and video: Ravichandran N.

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