West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi today suggested compulsory voting and necessary amendments to the electoral laws to make democracy more effective in the country. He stressed that compulsory voting should become the “responsibility of every voter instead of right”. “If voting is made compulsory, voting related corruption will also come down. A voter will have to go to the voting centre and cast his vote cutting down the number of fake voters,” he said.
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The Governor was speaking at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Memorial lecture on “Amendment process of People’s Representation Act in the context of compulsory voting” organised by the All India Radio at Nandan II here this afternoon.
“With changing time, conditions and mindset there had been several amendments to the electoral laws. But it seems that to make democracy more effective amendments to election laws are required,” Tripathi said today. “And to bring in changes in the election law we must think of compulsory voting,” he said. Referring to 28 nations, including Australia, Belgium, Peru, Bolivia, Canada, Singapore, Uruguay, where there is compulsory voting, the Governor said that the practice would not only help increase the number of voters practising their rights to vote but also consolidate the republic set-up of the nation.
Stressing that there should be options of financial punishments for voters skipping polling, he said that NOTA would also be made an integral part of voting. Later when asked whether making voting “compulsory” would be possible in India, Tripathi said, “It is not impossible… Only if a genuine effort is made, it is possible.”