Your vote counts, you had better believe it!

For a few years now, we have seen a real push from leaders, NGOs, youth bodies and different organisations about voting awareness. There has been a concerted effort to make people aware of the importance of voting. Voting awareness campaigns have been robust on social media and there has been a real thrust on voter education, why your vote must not go waste, the importance of even one vote and even the way to exercise your franchise, right from getting to the poll booth to how to physically vote.

A banner in South Mumbai is emblazoned with: IDIOT, the Greek definition of the person who did not vote. The perennial riposte of: you did not vote, why whine about the government now, is gaining greater resonance and momentum. A number of local leaders are also telling people to skip their May vacations, so that they can vote in Mumbai on May 20.

We are all for a large poll turnout and these campaigns, certainly do play some part in raising awareness about the importance of voting.

What our leaders though must realise is that people need to see delivery on promises and that perhaps is the biggest factor that will propel more people towards the polling stations. From idle talk and chatter or political bombast, we need to see real action on the ground so that people really feel that they make a difference and so, they must head out to vote.

There will be arguments like, you must vote for change. Yet, we must accept cynicism creeps in as people feel there is little to no change and they are being used as pawns in political games. So, it is important for politicians to demonstrate that they care and that people are heard and they are accessible for citizens. When people see that happening you will see large turnouts at our polling booths, it is a very substantial factor in ensuring that polling percentages go up.

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