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Some of the most historic moments of the Indian elections so far

The 2019 Indian General Elections to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha is currently underway until the 19th of May. While you might already be tuned in to every news channel for updates, here are a few interesting facts you probably didn’t know.

With close to 900 million eligible voters this year, the number of voters has increased by a record-shattering 84.3 million since the 2014 polls. That’s how many people are in the whole of Europe and Brazil put together.

1.66% of the total electorate or 15 million voters are between 18 and 19 years old and will be voting for the very first time during this election making eligible Indian youth a powerful voting force.

 Some of the most historic moments of the Indian elections so far

Photo courtesy: twitter.com (https://twitter.com/ParveenKaswan/status/1107583812471447552

Every vote counts! Proving the truth of this statement is the fact that the Election Commission has set up about 1 million polling stations, 10 per cent more than in 2014. They even set up a polling station in the Gir forest of Western Gujarat for just one voter - a Hindu monk. Another polling party hiked 39 kms to allow lone voter Sokela Tayang - who lives in Malogam, Arunachal Pradesh - to cast her vote. This is real democracy at work!

The fight for freedom and democracy may have been long and hard, but voting has never been more accessible. If you don’t have a voting slip this year, don’t worry. Use any of the 12 approved identity proofs including valid documents like passport, Aadhar card, driving licence and PAN card to cast your vote.

Did you know that the highest polling station in the world is in India? At 15,256 ft Tashigang in Himachal Pradesh is an active polling station that lies in Buddhist-dominated Lahaul-Spiti region.

India is moving forward, and in a historic turn of events, this is the first time in a Lok Sabha election, the percentage of women voters’ turnout will outdo male voters’. This is a considerable change from the close to 20% lead men have had over women in previous elections.

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Voter-verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) were used in eight constituencies for the first time during the 2014 elections. For the first time, this year VVPATs have been deployed across all constituencies and will play a crucial role in ensuring we have a tamper-free and fair election. VVPAT allows voters to verify that their votes are cast as per the selection they have made. When a vote is cast, a slip is printed on the VVPAT printer with the details and the serial number of the vote cast. This is visible to the voter for seven seconds after which it is separated and falls into a sealed, attached box.

India has been a democratic republic since 1950 and holding on the real meaning of that is its very first voter Shyam Saran Negi who became the first person to vote in India as he cast his vote from Chini constituency, later named Kinnaur, in Himachal Pradesh. One of India’s oldest voters - Ram Prasad Sharma (107 years old) will also vote this year from Semarang village in Uttar Pradesh. He has also been voting ever since the first Lok Sabha elections conducted in 1951-52 and continues to keep himself updated on the happenings of the government. Come election time he encourages his son, family members and neighbours to go out and vote.

Conducted over 39 days and over 7 phases, 2019 will see the longest Lok Sabha polls in the history of India. Even the 2014 elections were concluded in 36 days.

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The capital of India will go to polls on 12th May leaving us with the last phase. With the final vote to be tallied on 23rd May, voters’ choice is what will decide the fate of the largest democracy in the world. The time for you to make an informed decision is now, don’t miss voting in your constituency! Go Vote.

Button Dabao Desh Banao is a Network18 initiative, presented by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, urging every Indian to VOTE in the ongoing general elections. Follow the conversation on social media using the hashtag #ButtonDabaoDeshBanao.

This is a partnered post.

Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.

Updated Date: May 09, 2019 17:29:30 IST