India's Long Election | God's World News
India's Long Election
News Shorts
Posted: April 17, 2024
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    Women display their identity cards. They are arriving to vote in a 2022 state election in the village of Jagdev Kalan, near Amritsar, India. (AP/Prabhjot Gill)
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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at a campaign rally. (AP/Altaf Qadri)
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    Election officers carry voting machines onto a ferry. (AP/Anupam Nath)
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Friday is election day in India. So is the next day. And the next day. And the next day . . . Altogether, India’s national election will take 44 days.

Why the long election? There’s a simple answer. India is HUGE.

The country has more people than any other nation. Only China comes close. This year, 970 million Indians can vote. That’s 10 percent of the world’s population! (Think about that another way. Imagine a group of 100 people from all around the world. Ten of the people are Indian voters.) That’s also about six times the number of registered voters in the United States.

India held its first election in the early 1950s. That election took four months. The process has grown smoother since then. But there’s no way to rush 970 million votes!

Narendra Modi is Prime Minister of India. He leads the Bharatiya Janata party. This party supports the religion of Hinduism. Nearly 80% of the Indian people are Hindus. Prime Minister Modi has served two terms already. He wants to serve a third time. Experts think that he will. He’s one of India’s most popular leaders. But some people say he treats members of other religions unjustly.

The election will unfold in phases. India has 28 states and eight federal territories. Each will take its turn voting. The polls will close on June 1. On June 4, results will be announced.

It takes a lot of work to make sure everyone can vote. Officials must put a voting booth within 1.2 miles of every voter. That’s no simple task. About 15 million officials will travel across deserts and mountains. Some will go on foot. Some will take boats. Some will even ride on horseback.

India held its last election in 2019. A team of election officers traveled four days so one person in a remote place could vote! Another team climbed to a tiny village in the Himalayan mountains. Workers installed a voting booth at 15,256 feet above sea level. That was the highest polling station in the world.

In a democracy, every voice matters. India’s laws aim to protect that idea. That’s why officials work tirelessly to reach every person.

Does that remind you of something from the Bible? Jesus tells the parable of a lost sheep. The shepherd leaves the whole flock to find the one missing member. Every single person matters to God. When we were lost, He rescued us.

If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? — Matthew 18:12