ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Demographic Patterns of Voter Turnout

Pune Municipal Corporation Elections 2017

Municipal corporation elections in Maharashtra have been characterised by low voter turnouts. Local body administrations are interested in creating voter awareness programmes targeting the “rare” or “intermittent” voters. The article seeks to identify the social characteristics of such voters.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 7th Annual International Conference on Political Science, Sociology and International Relations (PSSIR 2017).

The authors thank the State Election Commission of Maharashtra for its support to the study. They are grateful to J S Saharia, Commissioner, State Election Commission of Maharashtra for inputs at the research and report-writing stages. The authors are grateful to the anonymous referees for their comments.

The study was carried out by the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics at the initiative of the State Election Commission, Maharashtra.

Municipal corporation elections in 10 major cities of Maharashtra were held on 21 February 2017. The elections in various municipal corporations of Maharashtra held between 2014 and 2017 are the fifth round of elections being conducted by the State Election Commission of Maharashtra (SECM), which was formed after the passage of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments in 1992. In the second, third and fourth round of elections (R2, R3 and R4 respectively) held in 2002, 2007, and 2012, the average voter turnout percentage across all 27 municipal corporations in Maharashtra was seen to be only around 56% (Parchure et al 2016a: 21). Thus, a major concern in municipal corporation elections in Maharashtra has been the poor voter turnout percentage.

Within Maharashtra, elections to the other local bodies have shown higher voter turnout percentages in the same rounds of elections. The average voter turnout in municipal councils and nagar panchayats in R2, R3 and R4 stood at 70.4%, whereas that in zilla parishad elections in the same rounds stood at 68.74% (Parchure et al 2016b: 8–9).

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Updated On : 6th Nov, 2018
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