Bengaluru: Karnataka is scheduled to make voting compulsory. According to reports, the government proposes to penalize citizens for not voting, and incentivize voting by providing rewards.
A senior official in the rural development and panchayat raj ministry said the state government has floated the idea of making voting mandatory in panchayat elections with a tentative fine of up to Rs 500 or two-day imprisonment for those who don’t vote.
It is also said that the government may ask applicants to show certificates of voting while issuing ration cards or driving licences. However, citizens who have genuine reasons for being unable to vote will be exempted. People who choose the NOTA option will get voting certificates.
All these proposals are, however, still in a nascent stage and may not apply for the upcoming gram panchayat elections in May. “We are still in the process of framing rules for the new legislation which will take some time. We have decided to seek suggestions from an expert committee in implementing the new rules,” rural development and panchayat raj minister H K Patil told a daily newspaper.
As of now, he said, the government is readying the voting certificates that will be issued to all voters who get their fingers inked in the gram panchayat elections.