The Right to Vote: Voter Registration: August – May 2013

Four Mumbai neighbourhoods.Seven Haiyya organizing Fellows. 16 core team members. Three partner organizations and five nation-wide trainings. Over 30,000 registered to vote.

 

Haiyya launched its campaign on the right to vote, focusing on non-partisan voter registration, in August of 2013, after finding out about the numerous challenges for average people in getting registered to vote – and realizing how many of our friends and family were not voting because of it.

Out of 18 million residents of our city, less than 10 million were registered to vote – and in the 2009 general election, under 25% of all Mumbaikars turned out to the polls. Stories abounded of citizens not receiving their voting cards, not being able to vote because of errors, or finding their names not on the rolls on Election Day.

Our organizers researched the ins and outs of the voting system, met with the heads of the election commission in Mumbai and nation-wide, and ran trainings to build teams who knew how to register their peers to vote. We brought on board organizational partners in I Vote I Change from Art of Living and Tata Global Beverages through Jaago Re to increase our scope from neighbourhoods in Mumbai to cities like Bangalore, Jamshedpur, and Pune nation-wide.

With our organizers training volunteers on voter registration and carrying out massive drives, we were able to register over 30,000 first-time and repeat voters to get on the electoral roles by the March 2014 deadline. Two of our organizers even registered over 1200 citizens in Kandivali in one day! And all of these new voters now have the opportunity – and the energy – to turn out to the polls in May and vote for the candidate they feel best represents them.

Through this process, we all learned that our voice is our vote – it’s up to us to use it.


Location : Mumbai, India
Address : C/o Enam Securities, 2A & 2B, Hari Chambers, 58, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg, Across Lions Gate, Fort, Mumbai- 400013, India