EC operates in persuasive space to motivate people to enrol as voters, cast ballot: CEC Kumar

New Delhi, May 5 (PTI) Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Sunday said the Election Commission works in an “entirely persuasive space” where it motivates people to enrol as voters and cast their ballot because neither registration as elector nor voting is mandatory.

Addressing representatives of election management bodies from 23 countries, Kumar said it would be axiomatic to say that the credibility of the processes that the EC undertakes is validated through the sheer turnout in elections and the near-saturation of electoral rolls in terms of the elector-population ratio.

He also said that the contribution of the Indian electoral space, process and capacity it generates, creates huge “democratic surpluses” for the world. This, the CEC said, is significant amid growing concerns over shrinkage of democratic spaces worldwide.

The CEC’s remarks on the poll panel’s functioning in an “entirely persuasive space” to invite people to register as voters and eventually cast their ballot come against the backdrop of voter apathy.

Last week, the EC had expressed disappointment over the voter turnout in some metropolitan cities in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls, saying it was a pointer to the “rigid levels of apathy” in India’s high-tech cities.

Cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) fared no better, it had lamented.

Among the 23 countries whose election management body representatives are here to observe the ongoing Lok Sabha polls are Australia, Russia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The 75 delegates will visit six states — Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh — in small groups to witness the elections and preparations related to them in various constituencies.

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