For the first time, transgenders will cast their votes during the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Chandigarh.
In the state, as many as 6,19,619 voters have been registered so far, including 3,28,271 male and 2,91,329 female. However, only 19 transgenders were listed as voters from the Chandigarh parliamentary constituency despite being given official recognition as the third gender.
The Election Commission of India allowed transgenders to vote under the “other” category in 2009, which was followed by a 2014 Supreme Court ruling that granted them recognition as the third gender. Earlier, transgenders would enlist either as male or female in official documents.
A major section of the transgender community lives in outer areas of the city. Chandigarh is one of the few UTs to have approved a welfare board for transgenders last year.
As quoted by the Tribune, Arjun Sharma, the Joint Chief Electoral Officer, said they had been encouraging people, including transgenders, to come forward and get themselves registered as voters. He said they could still get themselves registered as voters.
The publication in its report further quoted RK Garg, president of the Second Innings Association who said the department should start a special drive to register them as voters. He said one of the reasons for the low registration was the absence of a special awareness drive.