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Remote Voting for Migrants : Trust and Concerns in Delhi.



  Oct 14, 2023

Remote Voting for Migrants: Trust and Concerns



Overview:

The Election Commission of India (ECI) proposed a Remote EVM (R-EVM) system to facilitate domestic migrant voting.

A survey among Delhi's slum-dwelling migrants aimed to assess their trust in the R-EVM system.

Key Findings:

Migration Patterns: The majority of migrants in Delhi come from Uttar Pradesh (48%), followed by Bihar (22%), West Bengal (8%), and Rajasthan (7%). Employment opportunities (58%) and family-related reasons (18%) were the main drivers of migration.

Duration of Stay: Around 61% of Delhi's migrants have lived there for over five years, while 9% are recent arrivals, residing for less than a year. Some regional variations exist, with a higher percentage of recent migrants from Bihar (14%).

Voter Registration: Approximately 53% of migrants registered as voters in Delhi, while 27% were registered in their home states. Moreover, 9% were registered in both Delhi and their home states.

Voting Patterns: Migrants participated more in national and state-level elections compared to local elections. Migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh maintained strong connections to their home states' political units.

Reasons for Voting: Among those who returned to their home states to vote, 40% did so to exercise their fundamental right to vote, demonstrating a strong awareness of democratic rights.

Trust in Remote Voting: Overall, 47% of respondents tended to trust the proposed remote voting system, while 31% expressed distrust. Gender differences were evident, with men showing greater trust (50%) compared to women (40%). Trust increased with higher education levels.

Regional Variations: Trust levels varied across states, with West Bengal migrants having the highest trust (53%), followed by Uttar Pradesh (50%) and Rajasthan (49%). Bihar had the lowest trust at 41%.

Conclusion:

The proposed R-EVM system garnered mixed reactions among Delhi's migrants, with varying levels of trust and concerns. While many expressed trust, a significant portion remained uncertain about the system's viability. Education played a role in shaping opinions, with better-educated individuals showing more trust. Regional variations also influenced trust levels.

Despite the potential benefits of remote voting, the ECI faced opposition from political parties, highlighting the need for broader discussions on the topic. Technology alone may not address all voting-related challenges; education and civic engagement are equally crucial for deepening democracy.


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