Less voter turnout costs Pakistan's economy

The less turnout of voters in elections affects the economy of Pakistan and its already feeble condition cannot afford this. 

Pakistan has less people coming out on streets to vote for their political parties or leaders. To be more specific, in 2013, the voting turnout was 53.62 per cent. Instead of increasing, the percentage reduced to 51.99 in 2018. 

In the same way, in 2013, per vote cost was Rs55 which, astonishingly, increased to Rs200 in 2018. In the next election, the per vote would cost Rs492. And here the matter becomes important as well as damning: a country with a weak economy cannot afford to spend Rs492 on per vote with almost half of the population not participating in the elections. 

Now if a person does not vote in the elections, the government would lose Rs500. What should be done?

Most important, legislation is required and many countries provide guidance in this regard. Various countries – Australia, Singapore, Turkiye – use legislation to increase the voting turnout in polls.

For instance, Singapore with 96 per cent voting turnout uses ways such as disqualifying citizens to take part in polls in future in case of lack of participation. Likewise, Australia – voting turnout 90 per cent – imposes fines on citizens of even $50. 

Brazil’s punishments are severe. It does not even impose fine but also close doors to get government jobs. In Greece, imprisonment of even one year is used to increase voting turnout and in Egypt, 500 Egyptian pounds are used as fine.

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