Nestaway, the rental housing portal that conducted the study, said the people they surveyed were mostly in their 20s and working professionals. “Many of them have tried to get their voter registration done. But the process is painful, particularly if you are not from the same state. In Karnataka, language is a barrier. Still, authorities are more proactive now in helping out fresh voters,” said Amarendra Sahu, co-founder & CEO of Nestaway.
An overwhelming majority of urban migrants (73%) don’t know how to register as a voter in the city where they now live. “More shocking was that 60% of migrants thought they cannot vote if they move to a new city. Only 40% were aware that they could get their place of registration changed. Many even believe that having a voter ID made them eligible to vote from anywhere,” said Sahu.
Among the major reasons migrants don’t vote are a lack of knowledge about how to register, not having the necessary documents to establish residency, and disinterest in politics.
Migrants in Bengaluru seem to be more proactive in getting their voter IDs than their counter par ts in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. About 53% of respondents had valid voter IDs in Bengaluru, compared to 52% in Mumbai-Pune and 47% in Delhi.
But only 20% in Bengaluru were aware of the process to enroll as a voter, compared to 27% in Mumbai-Pune, and 29% in Delhi. About 67% of respondents in Delhi thought they could not vote in a city they have moved to for work, compared to 62% in Mumbai-Pune and 58% in Bengaluru.
The road to elections, however, is paved with good intentions. Some 77% of respondents in Bengaluru said they want to vote and will work towards it; it was 69% in Delhi and 70% in Mumbai-Pune.
About 34% of respondents were aged 18-25, 44% from 25-30, 14% from 30-35 and 8% above 35. About 80.5% of the respondents were men, 19% women and 0.5% transgenders.